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[university or MICHIGAN! 

Mii . GENERAL LIBllARX.;^.^| 















iSlann nan (gatbheal an ^natlUan a' (Sheile 









iSlann nan (gatbheal an ^natlUan t! (Shetle 





. '■• -• '» M ; '< »< ■: 7 

• • •■ . 4 ( -^^ .. . • .(.1 5 / • ' 1 i 


The present volume, the XXII. of the series, contains the Trans- 
actions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness for the Session 1897- 
1898, one year's work. The Council regret the delay in its 
publication, but owing to various circumstances, connected mostly 
with the character of the papers in the volume, the delay has been 
xinavoidable. It will be seen that the work possesses the usual 
characteristics of the Society's volumes, and is quite up to the 
excellent standard attained to in the last eleven volumes of the 
Society. Out of the mass of good work therein, it is, however, 
not out of place to draw attention to Mr Robertson's translation 
of Dr Stem's " Ossianic Heroic Poetry," and this for two reasons : 
the translation from the German was a most arduous task, both 
on account of the length of the paper and the difficulty of 
" scientific " German, and, secondly, the extreme importance of 
the paper, for never before has the Ossianic question been 
handled so concisely, so completely, and in so scholarly a way as 
by Dr Stem. 

Some donations to the Society's Library fall to be noticed 
becaujse of their value both in money and matter. Mr Mackay, 
Hereford, presented the recently published volumes of " Carmina 
GadeUca," by Mr Carmichael, a three guinea work, and also the 
more expensive and sumptuous work, Gibb's " Royal House of 
Stuart." The authors. Revs. A. and A. Macdonald, presented 
the Library with the handsome second volume of their " Clan 
Donald," as they did in the case of their first volume ; Mr David 
MacRitchie, the folk-lorist, has presented all his publications, 
and there have been several other kind donors. 


Since our last Introduction (Vol. XXI.) was penned in March, 
1899, somp prominent members have been removed from our 
roll by death. Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie of Gairloch, our senior 
Honorary Chieftain, died on 6th February, 1900. He had been 
twice Chief of our Society — in 1874 and 1892 — and he took a 
great interest in the Society's work; indeed, a paper of his 
delivered before tlie Society will appear in our next volume. Sir 
Kenneth took a prominent part in the public affairs of the High- 
lands — sitting on Royal Commissions, and directing, as Chair- 
man, the business of the County Council of Ross and Cromarty, 
of which county he was* Lord-Iiieatenant. And following hard on 
Sir Kenneth's death was the announcement of the death of ^Eneas 
Mackintosh of The Doune, brother of The Mackintosh, who had 
gone to Los Angelos, in California, in search of health, and died 
there. Cluny Macpherson of Cluny Macpheraon died on the 18th 
August, 1900, at the age of 64. He was Chief of our Society in 
1897. He had seen service in the Crimea and in the Sepoy war, 
and was at his death Brigadier-General of the Northern Volunteers. 
While this Introduction is being read in proof, we learn with 
much regret of the death of Dr Alexander Stewart, better known 
as " Nether Lochaber," eminent as a folklorist, popular naturalist, 
and Highland " seannachie." 

The literary work done, both in Gaelic and English, bearing 
on the Highlands during the last two years has been very con- 
siderable. Mr Alexander Carmichael's " Carmina Gadelica, 
Ortha nan Gaidheal," is one of the most important books ever 
published in connection with Gaelic. It contains the old hymns,, 
prayers, incantations, and like poetic lore of the Roman CathoHc 
population of the Western Isles, and its value to the folklorist is 
inestimable. The Gaelic is often so old as to be unintelligible. 
The third volume of Mr Macrury's " Arabian Nights " in GaeUc 
has appeared ; and a " Leabhar Laoidh" (Glasgow Highland 
Mission) appeared in 1899. Rev. A. Maclean-Sinclair is 
collecting the work of the Maclean bards into two neat volumes, 
entitled the "Clan Maclean Bards," one of which is issued; 
while Dr Keith N. Macdonald has written an account of the 


"Macdonald Bards from Mediaeval Times," witti ample quota- 

Of the more purely English Uterature deaUng with the High- 
lands, clan histories take a foremost place. First in tim3 is Kev. 
Alexander Macrae's " Clan Macrae," a painsta*king piece of work, 
done mainly on genealogical lines, with valuable appendices. 
Rev. Don. D. Maokinnon has published a pleasant work on his 
clan, entitled "Memoirs of Clan Fingon." Rev. A. Maclean- 
Sinclair has published the " Clan Gillean " — a» history of the great 
Clan Maclean, a work worthy of the clan's past. Two second 
volumes have appeared^ The second volume of " Clan Donald," 
by Revs. Angus and Archibald Macdonald, is even better than 
their excellent first volume. Miss Murray Mat^egor has issued 
the second volume of her *' dan Macgregor," characterised by 
the same good points as her first volume. Another history of 
the Highlands has entered the field: Dr Dugald Mitchell's 
" History of the Highlands and Gaelic Scotland " — a» bulky 
volume of over 700 pages, and the historical matter is up to the 
level of Skene's work. The only parochial history we have had 
for the last two years is Dr Forsyth's " In the Shadow of 
Cairngorm," a history of Abemethy, which happily combines 
Hterature and facts. Mr Andrew Lang has published his 
sumptuous (three guinea) work on " Prince Charles," which is 
marked by that writer's usual characteristics, especially on 
Jacobite subjects; the standpoint is depreciatory, though an 
attempt is honestly made not to be so. Mr Lang's first volimie 
of the " History of Scotland " bears on Highland ethnology and 
history, but in Celtic matters it is worthless, if not worse. A 
posthimious work by the late Rev. J. Gr. Campbell, of Tiree, has 
been pubHshed ; it is entitled " Superstitions of the Highlands of 
Scotland " — a very good work of its kind. The late Mr James 
Macdonald, author of " Strathbogi^ Place-names," left material, 
more or less incomplete, for a volume (Spalding Club) on " Place- 
names of West Aberdeenshire." It is well done. Just newly 
out is a purely Inverness book — ^Miss Anderson's " An Inverness 
Lawyer and his Sons," where we have the interesting family 
history of the Andersons of the famous " Guide to the Highlands." 


Some repiints of importanoe have also appeared, and, first, 
we are muoh plesused to see a reprint of " Caraidnan Gaidheal ' 
(published in Edinburgh by Norman Macleod), at one-half its 
original cost (now at 7s 6d). Another edition of Rob Donn has 
appeared, with music for 50 of the poems, a valuable vocabulary 
by Rev. Adam Gimn, and other notes and essays, where the 
Calder question is again, but temperately, discussed (publishei', 
John Mackay). Mr Cameron's " Gaelic Names of Plants " is also 
again issued (John Mackay). Maclan's two works on the 
** Costume of the Clans" and " Highlanders at Home" have also been 
issued, the simiptuous originals being reduced to half size, but yet 
complete and handy (David Bryce). Mr Lachlan Macbean's 
" Songs and Hymns of the Gael, with Translation and Music," 
has also been issued. 

The most important work from a Gaelic standpoint, published 
outside Scotland, is Dr Douglas Hyde's " Literary History of 
Ireland," which ought to be of extremely great service to every 
Gaelic student. The lately started Irish Text Society have 
already published three volumes, the second of which is an edition 
of the famous old Irish story ** Fled Bricrend," or Bricrenn's 
Feast, edited with translation and excellent notes by Dr George 
Henderson, author of ** Leabhar Nan Glean n." Mr A. W. Moore, 
M.A., Speaker of the House of Keys and author of ** Surnames 
and Place-Names of the Isle of Man," has just published a 
'* History of the Isle of Man," marked by the excellencies of his 
former work ; and Prof. Rhys is also joint author in a history of 
the Welsh People, where he once more propounds his well-known 
views on British ethnology. On the Continent there has been the 
usual output of period^'cal literature, the first part of the fourth 
volume of Windisch and Stokes' Irische Texte being the latest to 
hand. The " Macphersonic" side of Gaelic matters is still vigor- 
ously represented by " Fiona Macleod," whose fancies and fictions 
are taken seriously by the Anglo-Saxon public. Mr Neil Munro 
has added greatly to his reputation by another Highland novel — 
** Gillean the Dreamer." 

Inverness, January, 1901. 




Oluny Macpherson of Cluny 


Mr John Macdonald. 
Mr James Fraser, C.E. 
Rev. Thomas Sinton. 


Mr William Mackay, Solicitor. > 


Mr Duncan Mackintosh, Bank 
of Scotland. 


Mr Alex. Macdonald. 


Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A. 
Mr Alex. Mackenzie 
Mr William Macdonald. 
Mr Thomas A. Mackay. 
Mr William Fraser. 


Mr William Fraser. 


Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie 


Mr Neil Macleod, Edinburgh 


The Right Hon. Lord Lovat. 


Mr John L. Robertson, H.MJ.S. 
A. Ross, Esq., LL.D. 
Rev. Thos. Sinton. 


Mr William Mackay, Solicitor. 


Mr Duncan Mackintosh, Bank 
of Scotland. 


Mr Alex. Macdonald. 


Mr Alex. Macbain, M.A. 
Mr Thos. A. Mackay. 
Mr James Fraser, C.E. 
Mr Wm. Macdonald. 
Mr And. Mackintosh. 


Mr William Fraser. 


Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie. 


Mr Neil Macleod, Edinburgh. 



1. 'S e ainm a' Chomuinn "Comunn Gailig Inbhir-Nis." 

2. .'S e tha an run a' Chomuinn : — Na buill a dheanamh 
iomlan 's a' Ghailig ; cinneas Canaine, Bardachd agus Ciuil na 
Gaidhealtachd ; Bardachd, Seanachas, Sgeulachd, Leabhraichean 
agus Sgriobhanna 's a' chanain sin a theamadh o dhearmad ; 
Leabhar-lann a chur suas ami am baile Tnbhir-Nis de leabhraichibh 
agus sgriobhannaibh — ann an canain sam bith — a bhuineas do 
Chaileachd, lonnsachadh, Eachdraidheachd agus Sheanachasaibh 
nan Gaidheal, no do thairbhe na Gaidhealtachd ; c6ir agus cliu nan 
Gaidheal a dhion ; agus na Gaidheil a shoirbheachadh a ghna ge 
b'e ait' am bi iad. 

3. 'S iad a bhitheas 'nam buill, cuideachd a tha gabhail suim 
do runtaibh a' Chomuinn ; a^us so mar gheibh iad a staigh : — 
Tairgidh aon bhall an t-iarradair, daingnichidh ball eile an tairgse, 
agus, aig an ath choinneamh, ma roghnaicheas a' mhor-chuid le 
crannchur, nithear ball dhith-se no dheth-san cho luath 's a 
phaidhear an comh-thoirt; cuirear crainn le ponair dhubh agus 
gheal, ach, gu so bhi dligheach, feumaidh tri buill dheug an crainn 
a chur. Feudaidh an Comunn Urram Cheannardan a thoirt do 
urrad 'us seachd daoine cliuiteach. 

4. Paidhidh Ball Urramach, 's a' bhliadhna .£010 6 

BallCumanta 5 

Foghlainte 10 

Agus ni Ball-beatha aon chomh-thoirt de . 7 7 

5. 'S a' cheud-mhios, gach bliadhna, roghnaichear, le crainn, 
(^Q.gj^Qmhairle a riaghlas gnothuichean a' Chomuinn, 's e sin — aon 



1. The Society shall be called the " Gaelic Society op 

2. The objects of the Society are the perfecting of the Mem- 
bers in the use of the Gaelic language ; the cultivation of the 
language, poetry, and music of the Scottish Highlands ; the res- 
cuing from oblivion of Celtic Poetry, traditions, legends, books, 
and manuscripts ; the establishing in Inverness of a library, to 
consist of books and manuscripts, in whatever language, bearing 
upon the genius, the literature, the history, the antiquities, and 
the material interests of the Highlands and Highland people ; the 
vindication of the rights and character of the Gaelic people ; and, 
generally, the furtherance of their interests whether at home or 

3. The Society shall consist of persons who take a lively in- 
terest in its objects. Admission to be as follows : — The candidate 
shall be proposed by one member, seconded by another, balloted 
for at the next meeting, and, if he or she have a majority of votes 
and have paid the subscription, be declared a member. The ballot 
shall be taken with black beans and white ; and no election shall 
be valid unless thirteen members vote. The Society has power to 
elect distinguished men as Honorary Chieftains to the number of 

4. The Annual Subscription shall be, for — 
Honorary Members .... 
Ordinary Members 

Apprentices ..... 
A Life Member shall make one payment of 

5. The management of the affairs of the Society shall be en- 
trusted to a Council, chosen annually, by ballot, in the month of 

£0 10 




7 7 


Cheann, tri lar-chinn, Cleireach Urramach, Runaire, lonmhasair, 
agus coig buill eile — feumaidh iad uile Gailig a thuigsinn *s a 
bhruidhinn ; agus ni coigear dhiubh coinneamh. 

6. Cumar coinneamhan a' Chomuinn gach seachduin o thois 
each an Deicheamh mios gu deireadh Mh^irt, agus gach ceithir- 
la-deug o thoiseach Ghiblein gu deireadh an Naothamh-mios. 'S 
i a' Ghailig a labhrar gach oidhche mu'n seach aig a' chuid a's 

7. Cuiridh a' Cho-chomhairle la air leth anns an t-Seachdamh- 
mios air-son Coinneamh Bhliadhnail aig an cumar Co-dheuchainn 
agus air an toirear duaisean air-son Piobaireachd *us ciuil Ghaidh- 
ealach eile ; anns an fheasgar bithidh co-dheuchainn air Leughadh 
agus aithris Bardachd agus Rosg nuadh agus taghta ; an deigh sin 
cumar Cuirm chuideachdail aig am faigh nithe Gaidhealach rogh- 
ainn 'san uirghioU, ach gun roinn a dhiultadh dhaibh-san nach tuig 
Gailig. Giulainear cosdas na co-dheuchainne le trusadh sonraichte 
a dheanamh agus cuideachadh iarraidh o 'n t-sluagh. 

8. Cha deanar atharrachadh sam bith air coimh-dhealbhadh 
a' Chomuinn gun aontachadh dha thrian de na'm bheil de luchd- 
bruidhinn Gailig air a' chlar-ainm. Ma 's miann atharrachadh a 
dheanamh is eiginn sin a chur an ceill do gach ball, mios, aig a' 
chuid a's lugha, roimh'n choinneamh a dh'f heudas an t-atharrachadh 
a dheanamh Feudaidh ball nach bi a lathair roghnachadh le 

9. Taghaidh an Comunn Bard, Piobaire, agus Fear-leabhar 

UUaichear gach Paipear agus Leughadh, agus giulainear gach 
Deasboireachd le run fosgailte, duineil, durachdach air-sou na 
firinn, agus cuirear gach ni air aghaidh ann an spiorad caomh, glan, 
agus a reir riaghailtean dearbhta. 


January, to consist of a Chief, three Chieftains, an Honorary 
Secretary, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and five other Members of the 
Society, all of whom shall understand and speak Gaelic ; five to 
form a quorum. 

6. The Society shall hold its meetings weekly from the 
beginning of October to the end of March, and fortnightly from 
the beginning of April to the end of September. The business 
shall be carried on in Gaelic on every alternate night at least. 

7. There shall be an Annual Meeting in the month of July, 
the day to be named by the Committee for the time being, when 
Competitions for Prizes shall take place in Pipe and other High- 
land Music. In the evening there shall be Competitions in Read- 
ing and Reciting Gaelic Poetry and Prose, both original and select^ 
After which there wnll be a Social Meeting, at which Gaelic sub- 
jects shall have the preference, but not to such an extent as 
entirely to preclude participation by persons who do not under- 
stand Gaelic. The expenses of the competitions shall be defrayed 
out of a special fund, to which the general public shall be invited 
to subscribe. 

8. It is a fundamental rule of the Society that no part of the 
Constitution shall be altered without the assent of two thirds of 
the Gaelic-speaking Members on the roll ; but if any alterations 
be required, due notice of the same must be given to each member, 
at least one month before the meeting takes place at which the 
alteration is proposed to be made. Absent Members may vote by 

9. The Society shall elect a Bard, a Piper, and a Librarian. 

All Papers and Lectures shall be prepared, and all Discussions 
carried on, with an honest, earnest, and manful desire for truth ; 
and all proceedings shall be conducted in a pure and gentle spirit^ 
and according to the usually recognised rules. 



Introduction v. 

Annual Assembly (1897) 1 

Prize Essay on the Peculiarities of Gaelic as spoken in the 

writer's district — Rev. C. M. Robertson, Inverness . 4 

Mairi Nighean Alasdair Ruaidh — The late Mr Alex. 

Mackenzie, Inverness 43 

The Highland Folklore of Luck — Mr A. Poison, Poolewe . 67 
Bighouse Papers. No. II. — Captain D. Wimberley, Inver- 
ness 74 

Twency-sixth Annual Dinner (1898) . . . . 117 

Seana Bheachdan agus Seana Chleachdaidhean. No. 11. 

— Rev. John MacRury, Snizort 125 

Minor Highland Families — No. XI. The Baillies of Dunain 

— Chas. Fraser-Mackintosh, Esq., LL.D. . . . 140 
Early Highland Personal Names — A. Macbain, Esq., M.A., 

Inverness 152 

Poems from the Maclagan MS. No. II. — Rev. John 

Kennedy, Arran 168 

Topography and Traditions of Eigg — Rev. C. M. Robertson, 

Inverness 193 

Exchequer Rolls of Scotland — Duncad Campbell, Esq., 

Inverness ........ 210 

Snatches of Song collected in Badenoch — Rev. Thos. 

Sinton, Dores 233 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry — J. L. Robertson, Esq., H.M.I.S., 

Inverness 257 




List of Members — 

Honorary Chieftains 327 

Life Members 327 

Honorary Do. . . . . .328 

Ordinary Do 329 

Deceased Do. 337 

List of Books in Society's Library 339 



The Twenty-fifth Annual Assembly of the Society was held 
in the Music Hall, Invepiess, on Thursday evening, 8th July, 
1897. The hall was filled in every part. Mr Charles Fraser- 
Mackintosh of Drunmiond, LL.D., occupied the chair, and was 
supported by Colonel Alex. Macdonald, Portree; Rev. Father 
Bisset, Nairn; Rev. Mr Sinton, Dores; Mr William Mackay, 
Solicitor ; Dr F. M Mackenzie ; Mr Alex. Fraser, Inspector of 
Branches, Bank of Scotland; Mr Steele, Bank of Scotland, 
Inverness; Brigade-Surgeon Colonel Grant; Mr Kenneth Mac- 
donald, Town-Clerk; Mr W. J. Watson, Rector, Royal 
Academy; Mr Alex. Mackenzie, publisher; Mr Thomas A. 
Mackay, British Linen Bank ; Mr D. Macfarlane ; and Mr John 
Maclennan, New Zealand; Mr Duncan Mackintosh, secretary; 
and Mr Alexander Macdonald, assistant secretary. 

The party were played on to the. platform by Pipe-Major 
Ronald Mackenzie, Gordon Castle, the piper to the Society ; and 
at the beginning of the proceedings the artistes rendered " God 
Save the Queen," in the language of the Gael, in honour of the 
•Queen's Diamond Jubilee. 

The Secretary having submitted apologies for imavoidable 
absence from a number of well-known members of the Society, 

The Chairman, who was cordially received, said : — ^I am 
always glad to have the opportunity of appearing before a meet- 
ing such as this at Inverness. The great matter of conversation 
at this time has been the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty, and 
you will all agree that it has been celebrated in a manner worthy 
of so interesting an event. Inverness, as all who saw the display 


2 Gaeiic Society of Inverness. 

will testify, proved itself equal to the occasion. Those in 
authority, from the Provost downwards, carried out in the most 
satisfactory manner the ample programme which the liberality 
of the townspeople and their neighbours enabled them to under- 
take. This is the great Jubilee year, and it also happens that 
the Inverness Gaelic Society is in the 25th year of its existence ; 
and though at a modest distance, we celebrate its " silver jubilee" 
with thankfulness for its past successful progress. It is a cause 
of thankfulness that many of the founders of the Gaelic Society 
still live and prosper, and while regretting that some of our 
nimiber have been called away, such as, taking one illustration 
only, my old friend, Mr John Noble, bookseller, whose interest 
in Gaelic literature and old Gaelic books was so valuable and 
useful — I say, while we feel this regret, yet, on the other hand, 
a society like ours cannot exist without new blood ; and to such 
as have lately joined we bid a hearty welcome, and in particular 
to Mr Thomas Mackay, banker; Mr A. Mackintosh, of the 
Customs ; and last, but not least, « Mr John Mackintosh^ 
solicitor, who has in Glasgow distinguished himself in connection 
with GaeHc, and who has taken the somewhat bold step of 
summoning a " Mod," shortly to be held at Inverness, without 
fear of result, though held by or under the presidence of a Mac- 
kintosh. I think I may say that Gaelic sentiments and feelings 
actively continue in increasing volume. Directed, as these are, 
in no hostility to our Constitution, giving no oiffence to other 
people with whom we are united, we at the same time, in a firm 
and imited resolve, cherish the past, conserve the present, and 
perpetuate our future as Highlanders, and by so doing occupy a 
position that no assailant can overcome. Our Society may be 
classed as the head of all the numerous clan and other associa- 
tions connected with the Highlands. We have issued a large 
number of volumes, containing a vast amount of useful and 
valuable information. But no society can stand still. The 
moment it does, aecay sets in, and while the nimiber of Highland 
Associations is great, at the same time much of their force and 
activity is wasted. At this moment Highland and Gaelic 
Societies are scattered over the wide bounds of the British 
Empire, just as our own colonies and dependencies, owing allegi- 
ance to Queen Victoria. According to my views, no more 
brilliant or valuable conception for the continuance and 
prosperity of the British Empire and its extension could be 
imagined than that first started in a definite form by Canada, 

Annual Assembly. S 

under the instigation of Mr Laurierr That it will in due time 
prove successful we must all hope. Now, following out Mr 
Laurier's ideas, let all Highland and Gaelic Societies, while 
preserving their entire independence and activity within their 
respective sphere, federate into one great whole. Let ujs, the 
remnants of a once numerous Highland people in their own land, 
hold out the hand of brotherhood and confederation to those 
expatriated, some from necessity, some from choice. Thus, 
wherever they are, in America, Australia, Africa, or elsewhere, 
they wiU cherish and think of the Old Country with respect and 
reverence, and, if properly approached, there is good reason to 
believe that they would cordially reciprocate our overtures, and 
join in closer links, making the position of Highlanders stronger 
than ever. 

The Chairman then introduced the programme of music for 
the evening, the musical part of which was well sustained by 
Mr R. Macleod, Inverness; Mr Angus Brown, Glasgow; Mrs 
Mimro, Strathpeffer; aud Miss Kate Eraser and Miss C. Watt, 
Inverness. Miss Cosey Fraser presided at the piano. 

A Strathspey and reel party, led by Mr A. Watt, Inverness, 
introduced the pleasing variety of stringed instrumentation, and 
their two performances were very highly appreciated. Mr 
Watt's fellow-instrumentalists were: — Messrs Geo. Fraser, J. 
Alcorn, D. Watt, and A. Maclennan, violinists; H. J. Boyne, 
'cello ; and D. Maclennan, contra-bass. The dancing was in the 
capable hands of Pipe^Major Sutherland, Pipe-Major Ferguson, 
Duncan Macdonald, and Angus Mackay. Pipe-Major Suther- 
land also gave a finely executed exhibition of the sword dance. 

The Gaelic oration was to have been delivered by Rev. Chas. 
Robertson, but he was unavoidably absent, and his place was 
kindly taken by Rev. Mr Sinton, Dores, who delivered a spirited 
extempore address. 

On the motion of Dr F. M. Mackenzie, a very hearty vote of 
thanks was awarded to the performers, and a like compliment 
being passed to the Chairman, on the motion of Brigade-Surgeon 
Alex. Grant, the singing of " Auld Lang Syne" brought a very 
successful assembly to a close. 

Gaelic Society of Inverneaa. 




Being the First in Merit of those sent in under the 

Society's Special Prize to the Mod of the Highland 

Association held in Inverness, in September, 1897. 

By the Rev. Charles M. Robertson. 

The characteristics of a dialect may be of two kinds. Some 
of them may consist in the presence or the absence of features 
that are or are not to be found in other dialects. Others, and 
perhaps these are the njore numerous, consist in the application 
or non-application to individual words, and to particular classes of 
words, of modes of treatment that are both ancient and wide- 
spread. The sound chc for post- vocalic c, for example, is universal 
in some dialects, while in others it simply does not exist. On the 
other hand, the most general characteristic of Perthshire Gaelic, 
which is the loss or removal of the vowel of a final syllable, 
associates itself for the most part either with the vowel infection 
and retraction which have transformed the Gadelic suli and atri 
into the raodern suil and athair, or with the disappearance of the 
vowels oi the stem suffixes. The stem suffixes which have resisted 
the tendency to vowel absorption are those of the forms jo, ja, io, 
id, represented now by a terminal e, sometimes by a terminal a. 
The tendency to get rid of that stem suffix vowel has made some 
progress in Scottish Gtielic, or at least in some dialects thereof ; 
but in Perthshire, and especially in the eastern district, it has 
carried everything before it. Thus it comes about that the usual 
remark made by strangers regarding Perthshire Gaelic is that the 
words are cut short in it ; but the Glenlyon man's ^owama, for 
©oma, and coireathaichc, for core, would suffice to refute such a 
sweeping statement. 

Like other dialects, this is not homogeneous. In the following 
pages the district of Strathardle, in the north-east, and all west 
and south of Loch Tay, are not touched upon. In the inter- 
vening area appear two well defined sub-dialects — an Eastern, 
represented here by Strathtay and Blair-Atholl, and a Western, to 

Prize Essay. 5 

which Loch Tay, Glenlyou, and Rannoch belong. The Western 
Gaelic is distinguished by diphthongisation of a and o before long 
I, 71, and r, by the pronunciation chc for post-vocalic c, and by 
that of bh after I, n, r, dealbh, etc., viz., au at Loch Tay, and a 
(aa) in Rannoch. In the Eastern dialect there is no diphthongis- 
ing of a, (though there is of io), no chc for c, and bh in those 
positions is^u or wa. Another difference recognised is the change 
of terminal ng and nd into nn in the West, and into g and d 
respectively in the East, but that distinction is not so well.marked, 
and is necessarily shown chiefly in borrowed words. Other 
differences might be brought to light by a fuller comparison than 
is indicated by the scantiness of the notes labelled "Loch Tay," 
" Rannoch," or *' Glenlyon." The dividing line between the two 
dialects practically coincides with the western boundary of the 
region of Pictish place-names, ^.^?., with a line drawn from the 
head of Glen Quaich by the east end of Loch Tay and between 
lochs Rannoch and Tummel to the head of Glen Errochdie, about 
ten miles north-west of Blair-AthoU. Where there is no qualifi- 
cation, the statements made describe the Eastern dialect as spoken 
at Blair- Atholl and in Strathtay. * Strathtay,' in local usage, means 
the btrath between Ballinluig and Aberfeldy, and is even limited 
to ' he north side of the river, the south side being usually called 
Grandtully. Any remark applying to Blair- Atholl Gaelic but 
not to that of Strathta}^, or to that of the latter but not to that 
of the former, is accompanied by the name of the place to which 
it applies. The main points in which Blair differs from Strathtay 
are greater frequency of e for at, the sound of i for eamh, and of 
ya for ea before rb, re, and rg, and the regularity with which the 
mediae are eclipsed. 

Change of pronunciation constitutes the phonetic history of 
language ; differences are observed even between the passing 
and the rising generations, and tradition testifies to such muta- 
tion. The old Strathtay Gaelic for " Yoke the horse to the cart" 
is recorded to have been " Cuir an cuibhlidh anns an fheun." 
Cuibhlidh, also written cuillidh (MacAlpine) (from cuibh, muzzle- 
bar, etc.?), may have meant * a team' at first Another of those 
remembered sayings is somewhat curious. One farmer addressed 
another, " Ma bheir thusa dhomhsa la de d' mhaodalach a' 
phluchd fraoich, bheir mise dhuitse dair de mo steoc a stiucair- 
eachd," the meaning being, " If you will give me a day of your 
servant maid to pull heather, I will give you a day(?) of my 
ploughman to cut turf." The curious thing is that a similar say- 
ing has appeared in the Transactions, in a paper on Arran Gaelic^ 

6 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

by the Rev. John Kennedy, Arran ; and another version is current 
in Ardgour as a specimen of the old local Gaelic, "Ma bheir 
thusa dhomhsa an 8te6caire air son steocaireachd, bheir mise 
dhuitse a mhiodalach mh6r a r son bara-puil." The difficulty is 
that in such sayings the most interesting words are apt to be the 
worst preserved. Bara-puil means a wheelbarrow, and probably 
it is the wheeling of peats that is meant. Dair recalls, but 
cannot be referred to, the Scots darp, a day's work- 
in th« phonetic re-spellings, the letters represent their Gaelic 
sounds, except i2, which means the French 4, and A, w, which 
have their English sounds as in * house,' * will,' * now,' and y, 
which non-initial sounds as in ' lawyer,' and initially like slender 
dh, gh, i.e,, like the Scottish pronunciation of y in *you,' *yet.' 
The mark *=" means that the vowel is nasalised ; an apostrophe 
between vowels separates syllables, and between vowel and con- 
sonant means that the latter sounds as beside a vowel of the 
opposite quality, broad or slender. In the re-spelling of words or 
of the syllables under discussion, when two vowels stand together 
each is intended to have its own proper sound, as treu, falaah, 
for treabh, falbh. 


What may be called a diphthongisation of the vowels a and o 
in certain positions, as also of eu, is a feature of spoken Gaelic 
from the middle of Argyllshire to the north of Sutherlandshire. 
In the case of a (ea) and o (eo) when followed by a long liquid, 
i.e., a liquid upon which the voice rests or dwells in pronouncing 
it, eiu or w sound is developed in passing to the liquid. Instances 
are — am (time), cam, com, crom, call, toll, geall, ann, bonn, etc., 
pronounced aum, coum, caull, etc., where u is like u in English 
"* hour,' or w in English * town.' The vowels which are thus 
diphthongised are often marked long in the lexicons ; but that is 
owing to the liqu d being long. They ought not to be long, and 
were not so marked in the old language, except through a con- 
fusion apparently due to the same cause as that in modern 
Gaelic. At least that seems to be the true bearing of the state- 
ment in Windisch's Grammar : — " In Old Irish a long accent often 
appears over short vowels before a double consonant, specially 
before grouped or doubled r, I, n : mdrbh, dead ; Idndas, indig- 
natio ; dnd, here, etc." — (Moore's translation, p. 126). The one 
exception is that before long r ea, from Old e (not ^ is now long 
in some instances, both in Irish and in Gaelic, e.^., ceard, cekrr 
(but not ceam) ; so eorna also, and compare meirle. 


Prize Essay. 7 

Similar diphthongisation in Manx, where it is carried some- 
what further, is discussed by Professor Ehys (Manx Prayer Book, 
IL., 142-144). "Thus," he says, " * tromm,' now written * trome,' 
heavy, is pronounced in a way which sometimes strikes one as 
being *troum,' and sometimes *trobm' or *trubm,' with a sort of 
precarious h ; and similarly with other words, such as * kione,' 
head, which becomes * kioun' or * kiodn,' and * Ihong,' a ship, which 
becomes * logng,' or * lugng.' " Further on he fays — "In all the 
cases mentioned the vowel was short, and the nasal consonant'* 
(the effect seems not to accompany I in Manx), " as in * tromm,' 
was long, so to say, so that metrically um or bm is an equivalent 
for mw." But in Manx the change has been extended, " probably 
later " to words in which the nasal consonant was short, but pre- 
ceded by a long vowel, and here the reinforcement of the con- 
sonantal element took place, metrically speaking, at the expense 
of the vowel. The pronunciation represented by * troum' prevails 
in the South of Ireland, and apparently in the Breton dialect also, 
and that represented by *trobm' is paralleled in Old Cornish, in 
which * camm,' crooked, and * gwyn,' white, for example, became 
respectively * cabm' and * gwydn.* 

This diphthongisation, which is unknown in Strathtay or at 
Blair, is found before U and nn in the Dean of Lismore's Book, 
€,g., Cown, Gowle, dawle, &c., for Conn, Gall, dall, and is the rule, 
except before m and double r, in West Perthshire. Both at Loch 
Tay and in Rannoch, call, moll, toll, bann, clann, ceann, leann, 
bonn, and at least in the latter place meall, geall, beall, steall, 
show it caull, moull, ceunn, meull, but gyoull syoull. In 
Rannoch and Glenlyon it appears with rn, rd, and rt, e.g,, cam, 
dom, ard, bard, ceard, mart, tart, ort, port, &c. Words like 
beam, cearn, fearna, stearn, eorna, show a slightly different form, 
ceowrn, eowrna, tfec. {e cpen, not cyowm, yowrna). In Rannoch, 
and in Glenlyon, it appears with rd and rt even when a slender 
vowel (i) mtervenes as an aird, feaird, cairdean, feairt, Peairt, 
goirt, au'rd, cau'rdean, gou'rt, tfec. Compare also the Rannoch 
meog for meag. 

In the case of eu the tendency in Rannoch is to dipthongise, 
€.^., in beulaobh freumh. Cf. also dianamh for d^anamh. 

The length of the vowel sounds is a matter that requires 
attention. In writing the language they are summarily divided 
into long and short. That is apt to give an impression as 
misleading as it is erroneous, that the vowels marked long are all 
equally long, and that those not so marked are all equally short. 
Apart ffom that confusion caused by marking a short vowel long, 

S Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

where it is the following liquid thnt is long, e,g,, am, c^m, com^ 
crom, c^rn, d6m, stton, taimeauach, »fec., in none of which^ 
except the last, is the vowel marked long in Irish, Old or Modem, 
there are distinctions which it is well to keep in mind. For 
example, before mh a is not equally long in all the words in 
which it is marked long, both in the Modern and in the Old 
language ; the a of cnamh, cnaimh, pr^mh, lamh, tamh is in 
Perthshire, at all eventR, distinctly shorter than that of ramh, 
sn^mh, but it is as distinctly longer than that of amh, damh, 
samh (smell). Compare also samhradh and geamhradh with 
samhuinn, and gamhuinn where, though the respective rootf are 
the same, there is a distinct difference, the vowel of the latter 
words being shorter than that of the former. So also the vowel 
is shorter in baidh, grkidh, doigh, ihan in faidh, raidh, boidbeach. 
Such distinctions of vowel quantities exist in other dialects and 
without a comparison with them little can be said on the question. 

A slight shortening of a stem when a suffix of inflection or 
derivation is added is not uncommon in language ; sometimes it 
may even amount to the loss of a syllable, as in eachdraidh from 
echtar. That, with what has been said above, fully explains the 
apparently shortened plurals lamhan and cnaimheau (found also 
in Perthshire), which have been remarked in the Badenoch 


The vowel a, like e and o, though the two sounds are more 
widely separated in their case, has both an open and a close sound,, 
each of which again is found both short and long. The open 
sound may be observed short in bad^ cas, dath, fagus, etc.; long in 
bctia, cdSf dacha, fag, gctg, etc. The close sound is found short in 
ball, caiman, dalma, bias, glas, tarruinn, tart, rath, unaccented in 
inneal, urlar^ caiman, innean, etc.; and long in al, cal, lagan, card, 
rctith, etc. The close sound is found in contact with the liquids. 
/ and r, and also in contact with w and m when, however, 
nasalization comes in in addition. The liquids generally, though 
this is true in a less degree of r, seem to have a tendency to give 
a close sound to the vowels in contact with them, (compare 
English basket, ball, band, barter. 

The a in the diphthongs ia, ua, is close when in contact with 
the liquids ial, fiar, bualadh, dual, fuar. It is close in some 
instances, also in which there is not immediate contact with the 
liquid, e.g., gabhunn, tabkunn. The close a sometimes becomes 
open when the liquids are aspirated, as in mo lasair, mo rathad, 
and when an i intervenes as in cdil, buaiL In iall, ciall, a has. 
the sound of ao short, q.v. 

Prize Essay. ^ 

In a or as, out of, and usually in rach, rachadh, etc., a is 
sounded open e, while in thar (influenced by thairis perhaps) it is 
close e. 

The digraph ai produced by the retraction or by the infection 
of an € or i in the following syllable, e.g., ain, heat, 0. Ir. ^ne, is 
generally pronounced e or ei when in contact with nasals in Perth- 
shire. It is e in aimsir, ainmig, bainis, baintighearna, miide, and 
also naidheachd. Aingidh, aingeal, daingean, cainnt, have e at 
Blair, but in Strathtay ei, which is the sound in both places, in 
aimhrea, maighstir, daimh, cnaiuih. Mathair, thainig, ^in, grain, 
sgain, Spain, ainm, ainneamh, aineolach, gainniheach, raineach, 
whch have e at Blair retain a in Strathtay, and aithne, which has 
€ in the west of Perthshire, has a in the east. In all those 
instances the vowel is nasalised. In mairg, aig, air, thairis, ai is 
pronounced close e throughout Perthshire, excepting that in 
Rannoch it is a in thairis. Many of the other words take e or 
ei in West Perthsh're also, e.g., gainmheach, raineach, bainis, 
ainmig, Ac. The district in which that change of ai is least 
prevalent is Strathtay, which is divided only by the river from 
the district in which the change is carried furthest. In Grand- 
tully there is a farm called Dun 'n Tailleir, the local pronunciation 
of which is quoted as typical in the neighbourhood. The name of 
another farm distant less than a quarter of a mile from Grandtully 
Castle finds a place in the saying v/hich, if not well found, has 
been well invented to illustrate the same charactei-istic : — " Dh'ith 
na taillearan an caise eadar Baile na Pairce is an Caisteal." 

Of w^ords in which there is an interchange of a and o, ponair, 
d6cha, famhair (so Rannoch), folaich have a, and falbh, gabh, 
dath, mallachd, graing, and at Blair amhaich, take o, as does also 
sgrath ixi sgroth-glanaidh and sgroth-nighidh, superficial cleansing, 
slight wash (Loch Tay for all those). Usa is as\ so Loch Tay, 
and in Strathtay os' also. Callainn is Caolainn (ac short). 
Sanihach is soch, as in Badenoch, and in Strathtay sometimes 
sa'uch, in Rannoch sa'ach. at Loch Tay s'e'uch (nasal e). Maille 
(hindrance) is moille in Strathtay, muille (l long) at Blair, and 
maoille at Loch Tay. Furasda, the word used in Strathtay, and 
farasda at Blair, though similar in signification, are different 
words. C arson (why) has close o for a, c'orson. 

The open sound of o is frequently found in some dialects in 
words which have the close sound in others ; for instance, oohd 
has close o in Strathtay, and open o at Blair and at Rannoch, and 

10 Qaelic Society of Inverness. 

bo, c6, c6ta as they are in Perthshire, are in Macleod and Dewar's 
Dictionary b6, c6, cota. The word m6r has the peculiarity of 
receiving very generally two pronunciations unless* it would be 
more correct to say that there are two words ra6r and mor, with 
derivatives m6ran and m6ran, for there were in the old language 
two forms, m6r and mar, meaning * great/ The distinction made 
in Perthshire between the two is tliat m6r is the word for ordinary 
use, but where emphasis is to be laid upon the adjective mor is 
used ; and so with m6ran and m6ran. Other derivatives, except 
moirear, have close o. In olann o is open, but is close in oUa, 
whose connection with the former word is not, however, quite 
olear. Macleod and Dewar call the latter an adjective, which it 
might be in the phrase aodach olla (woollen cloth), but whal is to 
be made in that case of uilleadh na holla ? 

In a few instances oi like ai is pronounced ei (e close), as 
soimeach, oibrich, oighre, and with nasalisation roimh, troimh, 
coimhead. At Loch Tay coimhead takes ei, but roimh troimh 
have oi. In coille, oillt, doill, coilionn (candle), coinnlear, the 
sound is ao short, as is the case at Blair in toill also which keeps 
in Strath tay. 

Instances of u for o are bulg (to bulge), bulgan (belly), tulg 
(to dint), mull (chaff), mu (greater), muchthrath (morning), 
musach (nasty), dure (a piece), murt (for mort) ; bodhaig (so 
Rannoch) is budhaig in Foss ; robaig (to rob), robaig (to roup), 
and robainn (a roup) have all u in Rannoch; ciuit means a hump, 
and croit the back (slightingly). It is o, on the other hand, in 
congaiiih (harness), ollai' (ullamh), coir put (to sow seed is 
always cuir), croineachd (wheat), omhail (attention, &c.), gnoig 
(gruig), and in Strath tay sometimes gos (gus). Some of those are 
at Loch Tay, cruineachd and gnuig, and in Rannoch uUai*. 
Spuing (Manx spuing), a sponge, seems to be an oblique case 
raised to the nominative. In bonn-t-se (halfpenny), bonn here 
unaccented is sounded with u. 

The usual sound of this vowel in Gaelic is that of oo, in *good,' 
* root.' With us it has the sound of French u shortened, in a few 
borrowed words in place of original u and t, as lure, cuf (a cuff), 
stuf (stiff), stufainn (n.) and stufaig (v.), starch from stiffen, and 
the surname Duf (Duff and Macduff). Armstrong has staofainn, 
for which orthography it may be said that ao is pronounced u in 
several dialects, including that of Perthshire, The same sound is 
found also in lurgann, rud, rudach, fiodh, fliodh, &c. 

Prize Essay. H 

In teth, leth, sgeith, feitheamh, eas, seas, feith, reidh, reit, the 
vowel is open e, Beist has close e, except when used opprobriously 
with emphasis, when it is heist, beistean. The vowel of gl^ is 
pronounced at Blair, and when emphasised, in Strathtay also, as 
€1, or sometimes as a diphthong composed of ao short and ^, I 
having its broad aspirated sound to correspond with the broad 
vowel sound adjoining it. In the latter case, gle is exactly like 
the local pronunciation of gloi-»-in gloichd. It may mean much 
or nothing that the Welsh form of the word is gloew, Old Welsh 
gloiu. Greidh-nighidh, a beetle, is pronounced grainn-nigh, while 
the vowel of creid and creideamh is broadened into ao short 
without changing the sound of d. 

In words written with ea, a, not e, is sounded when followed 
by I, by two liquids, or liquid plus dental, e.g. geal, seal, bealach, 
eallach, teallach, feali, meall, sgealb, dealbh, aealg, dealt, 
geamhradh, geamhta, ceann, reannag, cearr, fearr, cearn, fearn, 
ceard, ceart ; so also ceangail, earar, ceathrar, and seachd. At 
Blair that pronunciation is extended to ea before rb, rbh, re, and 
rg, e.g, earb, cearb, dearbh, searbh, cearc, dearcag, dearg, fearg, 
etc. ; and also Abaireadhain, which are pronounced with e in 
Strathtay, as e'rb, de'rg, etc. In teampull, dean, meanbh, 
teangaidh, and sneaghan (for seangan) it is e that is sounded. 
Meirle and meirleach have a with us meairle (myairle). 

In Ranuoch, earb, cearb, tearb, cearc, dearc, tearc; and at 
Loch Tay, earb, cearb, are yarb, c'arb, t'arb, etc., as at Blair. 
In other instances Rannoch goes against Perthshire and sides with 
Lochaber, where the tendency is to pronounce ea invariably as e, 
as eallach, bearr, cearr, fearr, gearr, seuchd, e'llach, beVr, se'chd, 
^tc. That is even found accompanied by the developed u, as 
meall, teanndadh, etc., meuU, teunndadh. Feabhas, seabhag, and 
greallag are fe'us, se'ug (Gaelic u), and gre'Uag in Rannoch and 
also in Glenlyon. 

In Strathtay and at Blair, feabhas, seabhag, deamhan, air- 
deadb have open o in lieu of ea, and seagal, steall, geall, seall, and 
in Strathtay eallach, greallag have close o. 

" Chi mi talla Righ nam Bard 
'M B^ideanach ann 'n seolladh Sp^," 
«ing8 John Macgregor (p. 205), Duncan Ban has a similar 
pronunciation of leabhar — 

" Le*r casagan leobhar liath-ghlas" 
which, with the identical form leabhar (book) is pronounced 

1-2 Gaelic Society ©/ ^T(/««mar 

There arv i>thor nuxlirt^^riv ns : -e. Fr^'i^-J ?> : »r.Tr»?ciaced 
bi'aoch yao short ">, :uui fcAdhAiiiu <». cr*: : Titi> r h :: r nt it>?gx\, 
sometimes fyo'inn (oU>so f\ \\\ xi-'-x^:^ xt.:i^ ii«:aij-: -:*i^ii."::r ^ ibe 
vowel is ^(K im^HOiT, oti\ Mecu^Coxr. j< isj-i^jtii^ jl S^ir^L'ix'iAT, ai 
Blair myului ^luisal f/\ wni ,-\t Iavc. T*; t. \^ - i. 

Ill scHHiiar n> is souniii\i u^vsjtl r. i^«:l / .c ** i^iS iJfo dis- 
a]»poareil with a liitloixnit i\^s\ih r, ",:x\ :ri^-»: r^ :*:*.>•-:* ^r^.-. c j:. ^-naikiu 
proiiouncixl witli o|H>n r aivi l».^- . . ^ ?:u "^ i* t: ^ ic-itr^ijch. 
The saiiio so\in»ls aiv hoanl alN^^ :n re: .\, v':! :- : :'--^::L Tc-.ti»-»iii>cjed 
alike feu. 

£('^ Vihcrc it lvtv»n)os ».7 :r, r^.x^ .-jr:* i^^t: ;:, :> fcii*v>st 
invar. ably | ronounotvi r or r \\:^>^\\. * :j gs ?»:•.- :^ i*iuu scte-uc, 
feiich, doiu'hainn, divuolui. si; .;< i. :o:-..c, r^- .C- 'f/^ri-. ieihi, 
boul, sijrtnil. hourl:\ tVur, ir^Mir, fr /;^x^, 4:-:^f'.:>o. . .v •; ;:-v ?■ i:^ si^rt-un, 
neul, smour, nuM^i, iVtiimh hi : u- -... * .^ -i > r, iTt-nban, 
beiid. liiMid. iMid, tivnii, ci^mh^ i\ r; ..., >-v-..t. :n-.:^v r'lt-iis. ceas. 
broir~i. iv\u\, TriMUi. hounu pi irav, fi ..r,v, ^v/.:... k> ::;». Tcuin*. 


Tilt' vowi'l / in oort^tin w*^r.i> rs ■^^.vr;^^':.:;^.^, ^r. s*"»iuf -iiajects 
b"v ', Sin for exaniplo is prol^v»^.n.^^i sei; n. F^.s: r^:--^x;sh:T^ ai>d 
ill sjrnt otiier dialertis f -O , InIhw aji.i rs s< v^rrir :y. :r?r IV~K)ks 
o: iK-er :ind of riie IVan i^f Ljsniv.n\ M". 5»i>.l n. ;::> ».:>■ ntei and 
nitjii> tiiroiurhont IVrthshiro, >»nd :n Vl;i>iJ Porr-J.^L;-^ j*:i.i Ranitoch 
f <^(7 i> iieard in liou oi » {t(^) in nis'ss, n.^^c^, n■.^^^i«^, n ^"^ smior 
pona -h. lionail, lonann. To whii^h nisiNt "!>c *io.:!;v. "f.^ Fjisi PertL 
snire tanciiamii, nuos,a, inh^n;^<^h, nnd f ^r >Tr5»:MJty lubhir 
and ii<>5.. xvinch apix^nrs m K. h\ )>»>rh as i^^ si^.i «s !0«w Kein 
and Dij^, wint ii t^tko ? and r Tt^^ivvi.vo'v m ^»:m dj^^uvts retain 
their niort usnal vowel m rorThNhin\ S*^3nn *-«: tr»i or iter iiand is 
sinn. In tnniiseAr * is soniuii\i e* {f nasj*. », m^ioh is aiso the 
SMiinti tif '/// in Ininirt^a^. 

In lioun. rionnaiT. fioim »r, ionpu\ ionnss^iyi*, KmiisaidK tiatm- 
dadh, cionta, aiid in Srrathuy cbon>r. whi.^h is cti iic ai Riair, the 
sound IS neither f nor i> but ,t'o> as lynnn, \-aijnsaioh. etc i^ean, 
wiiich usually has f has i in the plu'Hso C'«^n-n«ath, where cioQ is 

In U aiiuH-h some of thi>je are )ounn. ronnnd?4dh (open ^ti 
diphthoHir), iile'nir, cncar, r'anna^j and un«e)>anin l^raini. 

It is a feature of the dialtvt thnt tr. ts made a dinlitbonij of 
variable eonip^^sition. It is i nnd shon /r^ in ci<x"h, enoch, diol^ 
diosij, tior, uiosfiran, firriosaoh, iosnU auxs, obo)vu^h, ru\irhachd, 
diochain, sioohadh (|M?aco), diot> pri^v^n ; and t aiui clos^' a in 

Prize Essay. 13 

siomau, gniomh, sniomh, diomhain, iomhaigh, dion, lion, sion, 
mios, nios (up), crion, lion, spion, iongantas. In fiodh, fliodh, 
diog, giolc, gliog, spiol, the sound is yu, fyAh, flyuh, (flyuh at 
Blair), etc., and in ciod, spiorad, it is u. A few of those words are 
in Rannoch i'mha (so at Loch Tay), gniamh, snianih, i'untas, 

In a small remnant the vowel is i pure and simple, as fios, 
crios, ciotag, gioball, sgios, ciob, siosar, siobhailt, sioda (pronounced 
side, so Rannoch). lolair is yolair (close o) and yulair in 
Strathtay, and yulair at Blair. 

The broadening of i after r, which has taken place in ruig, 
ruith, etc., is extended somewhat. In those instances, and in 
ruighin (tough) the diphthong is ili, so druilig, to drive about, 
from drill ; in ribh (to you), it is ui while rinn (to us) and gris 
are riu'nn and gru's. Compare also liuinn, liuibh. Old linn, libh 
{with us, with you). Rinn, did, and rinn, a point, again are both 
rao'nn (ao short). The last named and ruighinn are also found in 
Rannoch. John Macgregor has — 

" Tog ort, Iain, 's gabh an t-slighe 
'S ruighinn leam do sheolsa, 
Cha leig mi deur tuille a' i' mhinid 
'S CO ionnan leam's a dh6rte " — p. 153. 

Instances of a broadening of e after r have been mentioned under 
that vowel. 

The reverse may be heard in Strathtay in druim, whose original 
vowel was broad. The word is pronounced dr'im, though druim 
is retained in more formal speech. It is the same with the loan 
word suipeir, while bisidh, from busy, has only i both in Strath- 
tay and at Blair. 

In words beginning with ion-, it is sometimes the English 
sound of i, as in * pit,* ' in,* that is heard, e.g., ionad, ionnas, 
ionmhas, c*ionadh, etc. In unaccented syllable i often has this 
sound, e.g., cadail, milis, oidhirp, thairis, etc. 

In tigh the vowel is short aoi; in the genitive and plural it is 
at. In innleachd, perhaps owing to the assimilation of nn to /, 
the vowel is long innleachd though not marked so in the 

ao. ^ 

Where ao represents old a<?, oe, at, or oi, it has the sound of u, 
€.g., in daor, faobhar, etc. So also aodach, aodann, aotrom, where 
ao represents an old e and is sometimes written eu, as eudach, etc. 
The true ao sound to which the nearest approach in English is that 


14 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

of ic in *hull,' * skull,' is heard in aobhar, aoradh, for adhbhar^ 
adhradh, and other words with a or o followed by dh or gk, e.g , 
adharc, adhart, adhastar, fadharsach, tadhail, cladh, seadh, 's eadh, 
chan eadh, agus, aghaidh, lagh, laghach, dragh, tagh, leagh^ 
f6ghlum, foghar, roghainn ; with intervening i in oidhirp, 
foidhidinn, toigh, and also soitheach, and forming a diphthong 
with i in saighdear, oidhche, oighre, and obliques of faidhir, 
paidhir, staidhir. Ao has taken the place of ii in ubraid at Blair, 
and is sometimes found before liquids in lieu of ai and oi, e.g.^ 
coinneal, airde, so also faide ; and in -arbh (not earbh), words such 
as tarbh, garbh, when by inflection or comparison i is introduced, 
the resultant sound is ao. It is the sound given to a in the 
diphthongs ia and im before dh and gh^ as tiadh, riadh, liagh, 
riaghail, buadh, ruadh, tuagh, sluagh, truagh ; before //, as iali, 
ciall, stiall, uallach, and also in sguab, stuam, nam. The noun 
biadh is biao, but the verb is bia, so Loch Tayside. The same 
sound is retained when i comes between it and the consonant, as 
luaidh, cruaidh, gruaidh, buaidh, sluaigh, etc. ; so uainn, uaibh. 
It is the sound given to o in diol, fior, sios, etc., as already 

In saoibhir, aoibhneas, coibhneas, f^idh, geoidh, ao short forms 
with i a diphthong in room of those various digraphs. The H 
sound is sometimes heard from analogy no doubt in the two words 
aohhar and axyradh, and takes the place of a in failte^ gairdeariy 


Some pronunciations of this diphthong have been noted under 
a and ao. There remains but to mention that huaidheach^ nodh\ 
snodh, are the forms in use for bbidkeachj nuadha, sntiadka, and 
that tiat, uaipe, uaith, uapa, are pronounced hhot^ bhoipe, bkoithy 
bhopa, being short, and except in bhoith open. 

ia and eu, 
Eu is retained, but with the open e sound in many instances 
in room of the close sound so prevalent in Argyllshire. Even ia 
of tad is € in 's iad, co iad, an iad, and chan iad. In a few 
instances there is the change to ia, sounded iao before c?, ^, as 
briagh fine, riadan a timber moth, ciatacky and of course, cevd and 
deug. The three last have ia almost throughout the Southern 
dialect. Deug, however, may sometimes be heard with the sound 
of close e in Perthshire in the phrase, an daWeug or an dawaireug 
(with last syllable accented), " twelve o'clock," but even there the 
iaog^ intrudes. Cf. Irish dareug, twelve (persons). Fiamh- 
ghaire m feath-ghaire. F*. Ir. f^th. 

Prize Essay. 15 

Nasal Vowels. 

The accented vowels of the following words have the nasal 
sound without the presence of ti or m to account for it, viz., 
adklac, bran, ultack, tuaicheal, tualaig, fvxisgail, and in 
Strathtay dithis. The first a of agam, againn, is nasalized when 
g is elided in pronunciation, as is also e in the third personal 
pronouns e, and evd for iad in the phrases an e, choHn e, an evd, 
cha'n evd. So also a of dird in an hird upward. Grathuinn, a 
while, is pronounced by us grawinn, as if the word were gnathuinii 
or rather gnamhuinn. So rabhan (rigmarole) is ravan, as if the 
word were ramhan ; cf. W. rhamant romance, which is simply a 
form of the 0. French romanz, according to Rhys. 

Sbmi- Vowels w and y. 

The sound w for hh^ mh^ etc., is noted elsewhere. Other 
instances are dawairiag, seanwair, and cwui, for da uair dheug, 
seanmhathair, and cuith (snow wreath). 

As a rule y is found where initial e or i with a broad vowel is 
followed by a liquid, e.g.^ eala, eallach, eanntag, earrach, eolas, 
eoma, iolair, iongar, iubhar, iuchair, etc., are pronounced yala, 
yuchair, etc. So also eadhon, iodhal, iochd, and even eigh and 
uine, are pronounced yiochd, yeigh, yuine, etc. Initial dh and gh 
w4th slender vowels are also cf course sounded like y. 


At the end oi accented syllables the tenues jp, ^, c are not 
always clearly distinguished from the mediae J, d, g ia Strathtay. 
The adjective tapaidh, for instance, may often be heard as tabaidh, 
thougn the noun tapadh, except in the phrase * tapaidh leat,' 
always keeps the p sound. Leabaidh, which is sometimes used as 
genitive also, has 6, but the genitives leapa and leapach always 
have p. In ceapag and ceapaire p is often sounded b. In general 
p, though distinguished from 6, is somewhat softer than at Blair 
and elsewhere. As regards the others in the same position, t and 
c cannot always be distinguished from d and g respectively, e.^., in 
cat, fad, cadal, crotal, etc., glac, glag, leig, reic. In the history of the 
language, however, they have not been^ept distinct, e.^., fad, cadal, 
leig, were in the old language fota, cotlud, leidcim. At Blair the 
distinction is that in such positions the preceding vowels sound as 
if followed or closed by an h, and the tenues are pronounced 
exactly as they are at the beginning of words, e.g.^ litir, tapaidh, 
leiceid, as if lihtir, tahpaidh, leihceid. The same holds at Loch 

16 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

Tay in regard to p and t, but further progress has been made in 
the case of c, and in Rannoch in the case of the other two also. 
At both places c is pronounced chc^ e.g., in mac, breac, glic, mic, 
leiceid, olc, core, cearc, tearc, while in East Perthshire even 
currachd is pronounced currac. That hyper-guttural c has been 
observed in the East, and ridiculed in the phrase " Muchd an 
Diuchd," while in illustration of the other abrupt and bare pro- 
nunciation it is related that w^hen checked by one of the Duke's 
officials for allowing an unclean beast to wander out of bounds, 
an Atholl man replied sententiously, " Far an cuir a' mhuc soc, 
cha chuir an Diuc bao." 

The peculiarity of p and t in Rannoch in the position under 
discussion, e.g., cat, tapaidh, is that the breathing is so strong as 
to make them sound almost as if they also had a ch before them. 

h, hh. 

Initial h, when preceded by m of the article, relative, inter- 
rogative, or preposition, is pronounced like English 6, as in am 
bata, air am bual.dh, but not when, as sometimes happens, the 
m is elided. In loans like Bioball, butan, buinnse (bunch), it is 
sounded initially as p. More variable is the pronunciation of hh, 
the standard sound of which is that of v in English * view,' * vote.* 
That sound, which is always heard in initial position, occurs 
medially in a very few instances, and finally in no case. The 
instances in which it sounds v medially are gkbhaidh, clabhuinn 
(sleet), aoibhneas, aobhar, cabhag, sealbhag, bulbhag, drabhas, 
siobhalt, fabhar, s^bhailt, and one or two other* loans. In Ran- 
noch asbhuain is asvin (Gaelic). 

It sounds like w in English * now,' in dobhran, cobhar, cobhair, 
gobhar, gobhainn, leabhar, abhag, sabhal, brabhd, asbhuain 
(aswa'n), tobha, cabhsair, etc. 

After /, r, and n, hh sounds with us as Gaelic u, English o in 
* food,' * root,' at Loch Tay as au, and in Rannoch as ah or aah, 
e.g., balbh, dealbh, sealbh, garbh, marbh, tarbh, sgarbh, dearbh, 
searbh, meanbh, etc. Inbhe is inwe, in Rannoch inai. A fuller 
enunciation occasionally heard in Strathtay makes hh wa (w and 
the indistinct vowel sound), as balwa, dearwa, etc. In all cases 
the liquid retains its long sound. The Dean of Lismore writes 
garo, gerve, and garrowe (garbb), dalwyth (dealbh), Bano 
(Banbh), etc. Manx forms are marroo, tarroo, etc. In most of 
those examples hh stands for an Indo-European v ; it was written 
b in Old Irish, and is represented by w in Welsh, by ow in Cornish, 
and by ou or older v in Breton, e.g., marbh, marvo-s, 0. Ir. marbh, 
W. marw, Cor. marow, Br. maro, Middle Br. marv. 

Ptize Essay, 17 

Bh is sounded u in some other instances also, e.g., treabh, 
«griobh, Fiobh (Fife), craobh, taobh, lethtaobh, are treii, sgriii, 
Fill, cr^ii, tuii, leatu. Fn several instances bh and a preceding 
vowel are sounded as u, e.g., leanabh, culaobh, beulaobh (and 
chianaibh, usually written chianamh), are leanu, culu, etc. In 
tarbhach (profitable), gailbheach, bh is vocalised somewhat 
differently, taraach, gaileach. So dealbhach is dealaach, and in 
Strathtay dealwach. 

It is altogether silent in abhaist, faobhar, ubhal, siubhal, 
'dubhan, and also when, through inflection or comparison or other- 
wise, i stands before it, e.g., craoibh, taoibh, lethtaoibh, sibh, 
leibh, uaibh, etc. When i is introduced before a preceding 
liquid, an i sound is heard in lieu of bh, e.g., bailbh, deilbh, 
mairbh, etc., are baili, deili, mairi, etc. The verb falbh varies 
greatly. Usually bh is u, sometimes w when follow^ed by a suffix, 
as folu. Future folwi, Subjunctive folug or folwag ; sometimes it 
is a, as fola, folai, folaag. In Strathtay a of the stem is some- 
times heard, as in Rannoch, where the forms are falaah, falalii. 

In the borrowed words seirbhis pronounced seirbhais with its 
derivative seirbhiseach, and sabhaidh, bh is v, while in searbhant 
it is sileut, and in sabh it sounds u. Those are the same in 
Rannoch, but there the pronunciations sav and s;i'idh are also 
heard. Some other Rannoch pronunciations are treti, Fiv, craoh, 
taoh, culu, bialu. There is a marked tendency there to terminate 
the vowel sound with h where bh has been vocalised. 

A curious instance of p occursj in the place name Balquhidder, 
the Gaelic of which is Bo-phuidir in Rannoch, Strathtay, and at 
Loch Tay. Nor is that form modern only. The name is written 
Bof udder in the entry for the year 1526, and Bofudyr in the one 
for 1574 in the Chronicle of For tin gall ; and in the Book of the 
Dean of Lismore it appears as Bofuddir. The pronunciation got 
at Blair is Bo-choidir (oi as short ao). 


Initial s followed by another consonant and a slender vowel as 
in sgian, has, of course, its broad sound. When the intervening 
consonant is / or n, how^ever, both sounds of s are used indis- 
criminately, e.g., in slinnean, slighe, sneachd, sniomh, etc. 

When appended to the second plural pronoun, both personal 
and prepositional, s of the emphatic particle -sa is in Strathtay 
sometimes sounded broad. Sibhse is both sis and sios, sometimes 

18 Gaelic Society of Inuerness- 

shuish and shuis. So duibh, uaibh, etc., are duis and dui's, uais 
and uai's, etc. In Manx, shiuish, as it is written, is pronounced 
both shiiis and shiuish. 

Between a slender vowel and final te and gte also, s has its 
broad sound, as in briste, duisgte, fiiisgte, and generally the 
tendency is to give s its broad sound between a slender vowel and 
a dental, as in beist, maighstir, eisd, leisdear, misd. 

In the Relative form, ma bhriseas, ma ghlaiseas, and also in 
the Future vnth s, briseas, glaiseas, of verbs with final s slender, 
that slender s and the broad s of the suffix are brought together 
through the elision of the intervening vowel, bhris-s, bris-s, etc., 
so closely that they merge together and form a single « that 
begins slender and ends broad. This occurs in Rannoch also. 
The same result may be obtained in English by pronouncing such 
a word as wishes as one syllable, wishs. 

Insertion of 8 takes place in the combination rt in accented 
syllables, e.g., mart, tart., cuairt, cairt, pronounced marst, cuairst, 
but not in rd, e.g., bord, aird. The infinitive toirt, and with ua 
tort, being for tabhairt is without s. 


Elision of g occurs in agam, agad, againn, agaibh, and in the 
combination sgt, as in faisgte, duisgte, ruisgte, loisgte, pronounced 
f^s'te, dtis'te, loste (Manx losht). 

The g is noteworthy in * Na fir chlisg,' the merry dancers, and 
the adverb *a chlisg,' presently. Clis is in Middle Irish cliste. 

Aspirated g is elided in Gille in proper names of course, but 
also in the vocative as a common noun. 

Non-initial gh is sounded in aghaidh, foghar, truaghan, in all 
which it is retained in Rannoch also. In almost all, if not in all, 
other instances gh non-initial is silent. 

C has been dealt with already. Ch is pronounced h in chugad, 
chuige, and generally in cha, cha'n, and is altogether silent in 
chun (thun) for gu'n, all which are common to other dialects. 

Slender ch is elided in the Future Indicative and in the Sub- 
junctive forms of -ich verbs of two or more syllables, e.g.^ 
ceannaichidh, cheannaicheadh, na'n ceannaicheadh, ma chean- 
naicheas, are ceanna'i, cheanna'adh, etc., ma cheanna'as. So 
fairich, aithnich, fuirich, and ^irich, etc. It is the same in 


In some words containing I or n, d and ty though in contact 
with slender vowels, are not spirants. This is common in borrowed 

Prize Essay. 19 

words, e.g., greidil, rideil, sguidilear, buidealair, stior (stir), and 
the more ancient maidinn (for maduinn) and airgid (genitive) ; 
but it is also found in the words sgoideil (from sgoid), caidil, 
foidhidinii, cuide (ri), inntinn, taitinn, in all which, except airgid 
and inntinn, Raiinoch has the same pronunciation. At Blair 
coilltean (woods) and in Strathtay aitionn also show that pro- 
nunciation. Taitinn, taitneach, and taitneas show the pro- 
nunciation in Skye, Eigg, Arran, and the Isle of Man. Professor 
Rhys says : — " Voiceless mute t sounded like English t should 
represent Aryan t associated with a narrow vowel e or i, and we 
have it occasionally as in tatnys, now written taitnys, joy, delight, 
pleasure." — Manx Prayer Book II. 103. That sound of the 
dental approaches the sound of slender c in caidil, aitionn, and 
particularly in taitinn, in which t has actually gone over into c 
in Arran, as thaicirm, taicnidb, taicneadh, and taicneach. 

In some instances t represents an Aryan sv. An unusual case 
of that is our word teillean, a bee, from svel, whence the usual 
Gaelic seillean, which is the form current even in West Perth- 

* Smoke' is always deathach, never deatach, and pailteas is 
pail's. In the combination sr, t is not inserted srath, sruth, sron, 
srad, etc., except in strac (tear), stroic, str^ic (pride), streap, 
straighlich, stri, and striall. It is somewhat curious that strac 
ought to be srac, and appears so in other dialects, and even with 
us at times in positions of aspiration as 'g a shracadh. Nor are 
bris and smuainich ever brist or smuaintich. 

Ich, bruich, brkch for ith, bruith, br^th, are, of course, 

The broad sound (gh) of dh is kept medially in fiodhag, and in 
Rannoch, and with us in eadhon, iodhal, fiadhain, diadhaidh, and 
^ finally in subjunctive forms na 'm faodadh e, na 'n tigeadh e, 
except before tu when it is silent, as chithe 'tu (you would see), 
dh' fhaod 'tu. All that applies to Rannoch also, except that 
there dh is rather ch (broad) than gk. In Strath t-ay final dh of 
the Subjunctive, never of the Infinitive, is further de-aspirated 
into g, as dh' fhaodag e, na 'n tigeag na daoine. Creach, in 
Rannoch cr^ich, clay, may be a derivative of ere as cre-ach. 

The only other instance of dh being sounded are crodh, modh, 
modhail, bodhar, odhar, where it is like w in English *now,' or 
rather the shorter sound of i* in * out,' * shout.' 

^ So in the Island of Tiree, the word for tongue is seanga, which, com- 
pared with the ordinary form teanga, shows that a root beginning with 9v 
must be looked for, perhaps svengo-s, whence comes seang. 

20 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 


m calls for no remark except what falls under assimilation. 

mh resembles bh very closely in its various pronunciations. 
Some words have alternative pronunciations, and are therefore 
repeated. Medially it is sounded v in uamhas, famhair, amhaidh, 
iomhaigh, and finally in neamh. In Kanuoch the v sound is 
heard in those words, and also in namhaid, seanmhathair, bana- 
mhaighstir, amh and samh. 

It is sounded as i^' in East Perthshire and in Rannoch in 
gamhuinn, samhuinn, amharus, amhuil, geamht, samht; in £ast 
Perthshire seanmhathair, amh, samh, gniomh, and in Strathtay 
and Kannoch in amhaich, and in the former in damh. 

It is sometimes w and sometimes Gaelic u in Rannoch, and in 
East Perthshire in reamhar (re*ur, or rewar, nasal e)j damhsa, 
samhradh, geamhradh, and in the latter place in namhaid. It is 
Gaelic u in Rannoch and East Perthshire in cn^mh (chew), 14mh, 
pramh, rkmh, t4mh, sn^mh, sounded cnau laii, etc. The 
unaccented syllables in talamh, teagamh, ealamh, falamh, 
deanamh, seasamh, caramh, feitheamh, and in the ordinal numbers 
ceathramh, coigeamh, etc., are sounded u talu, coig'u, etc., to which 
add for Strathtay ainneamh, ^ireamh, aiteamh, breitheamh, creid- 
eamh, toinneamh. Aiteamh has u in Rannoch. Compare the Dean 
of Lismore's tegow, tallow, law, for teagamh, talamh, lamh. It is 
silent in the prefix comh , a** comhairle, comhnard, etc. ; in 
banmhaighstir, caomhain, gainmheach, sgeimhle, sglamhraig, 
^mghar, and after i as in cu^imh, cnaimhean, laimh, daimh 
(stags), falaimh (one pronunciation), oUaimh (ullamh), soitheamh 
(so'i), and at Blair generally in unaccented syllables, ordinals 
excepted, when amh is preceded by a slender vowel, as ainneamh, 
aiteamh, breitheamh, creideamh, pionounced ainni, aiti, etc. 
Possibly also the Strathtay siocha (Blair siochai), is the word s\th- 

At Blair damh, amhaich pr^mh, samhach (haft), are da, 6'ich, 
preu (nasal e), sawch. The pronunciations of samhach have been 
given under a. In Rannoch ramh, sn^mh have two pronuncia- 
tions, ra, sna, and rau, snau ; freumh, gniomh, ealamh, deanamh, 
falamh, are fria, gnia, eala, dianu, falu ; and cnaimh, Uimh, 
ullamh, breitheamh, are cnai, lai, uUai, bri'i. 

The Manx forms of amh, l^mh, r^mh, cn^mh, snamh, talamh, 
^ireamh, deanamh, are aw, laue, raue, cnaue, snaue, thalloo, 
earoo, jannoo. 

Prize Essay. 21 

Before c and g an (article, etc.) is sounded ang, as in an cu, an 
gabh thu e. In the genitive plural initial n of the article nan^ 
nam, is sounded as English n in not, nun. 

Unaspirated slender n is aspirated between a slender vowel 
anjl t, as in cainnt, cluinntinn, inntinn, but not in roinnte, pro- 
nounced caint, cluintinn, intinn, and broad n is sometimes 
aspirated in claigionn, craicionn, losgann, uileann, pronounced 
claigion, etc. On the other hand leathan is leathainn, and scan 
when standing before a noun is always seann. Ban does not 
become bann at least in familiar words, e.g., baumhaighstir, 
banaltradh, bancharaid, baintighearna, in all of which the main 
accent has been shifted to ban. Where the two words have not 
been thus welded together, and the accent shifted, the pronunci- 
ation varies between ban and bann, as in ban-mhoirear, ban-oighre. 

Before, slender vowels, and fh followed by slender vowels, the 
broad n of cha'n, an (article, relative and interrogative), gu'n, o'n, 
mu'n, etc., becomes unaspirated slender n, as an ionga, an eirich, 
cha'n iarr, o'n fhe6il, pronounced a nnionga, a nneirich, cha 
'nniarr, o' nueoil. So also the phrase gun fhios when used as a 

After c, g, and t-s n is, of course, pronounced r. That is the 
case also in surnames as MacNaughton, MacReachdainn. Grainn- 
nigh for greidh-nighidh is noted under another heading. An 
initial n has been lost in Ollaig, Christmas, and eanntag, nettle, 
and a final in fein, sometimes fhein, but generally f he. 

In nouns with final -an forming their plural by suffixing auy 
and this holds true in Rannoch also, the root n is elided, and 
either the two syllables remain or they are run into one, in which 
case there is a dwelling of the voice upon the remaining n, e.g , 
nighean p. nigheanan, pronounced nighea'an and nigheafi ; caiman, 
ealma'an and caiman ; so giullan, seachdan (for seachduin). 
Cha'n ionann is always cha'n ean, in Rannoch cha'n e'an. 

Elision of n and nn before, I, r, and », with the vowel nasalised, 
occurs in innleachd, manran, onrachd, comhnard, anart, innis, 
bainnse, oinnseach, and without nasalisation of the vowel in 
uilnnean (elbows), coinnle, coinnlean, coinnlear, and also in buinn- 


In the full pronunciation of this combination g not only has its 
own proper sound, but it also causes the n to sound like English ng^ 
in * singing,' * longing,' so that there is the same duplication of sound 

22 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

as ng has in English * finger,' * hunger/ Instances of it are 
aingidh, Caingis, cungaidh, pungail, sgraing, gliong, fang, rong, etc., 
pronounced aing-gidh (or conform to Gaelic, ainn-gidh), cung- 
gaidh, etc. That is the pronunciation, as appears from Munro's 
Grammar, that prevails in Lochaber, and is also found in the 
districts to the west thereof. It is the pronunciation in Rannoch 
of thc' words langan, teanga, seangan, which are somewhat 
peculiarly dealt with in East Perthshire. What seems to have 
taken place is that n or ng has been elided, and i he remaining g 
sound has been aspirated, and the words are now laghan, 
teaghaidh, nasal <?, and with a difference, sneaghan, nasal e 
(Badenoch snioghan, Arran sneagan^ Manx sniengan). In Strath- 
tay an alternative pronunciation, teagaidh (nasal e) may be heard 
occasionally, and at Blair it is said that teang-gaidh might be 
heard, if not now, yet within the last twenty years, from old 

In a number of cases ng is elided with the vowel nasal as 
luingeas, coingeis, ainglean, aingle (genitive hearth fire), iongantas, 
iongar, ceangail, muing, in Strathtay daingean, and without 
nasalisation of vowel, meanglan, pronounced (some of them), 
Tei'as (nasal e), ya'ar, cyawil ; in Rannoch ailean, loins, i'unntas 
(nasal i). In aingeal and in Rannoch in daingean, ng is sounded 
as nn slender (English ng in * sing,' * wing'). The last named is 
d'ewinn (nasal e) at Blair. longa, which is inn at Blair, is in plu. 
intean in Strathtay and Rannoch. 

Final ng has become g in tarrang (a nail), pronounced tarag 
with verb tairg and in f uilig and fulang. In borrowed words that 
frequently happens, e.g., bardaig (warning), ludhaig (to allow), 
lunndraig, cubhraig (coverlet), inntrig (to enter), robaig (to rob), 
fieinnsig, sgl^mhraig. Sometimes when both a verb and a noun 
have been borrowed, the former takes g and the latter nn, e.g., 
robaig, roup, verb, and robainn noun, so Rannoch. Starch is 
stufainn, to starch is stufaig, and stufainnich, which is the [-och 
Tay form. In Rannoch there are fuilig but a' fulachdainn, 
bardaig, cumhann, and bodhaig. Akin to that is the treatment 
oind. Grimda, Early Irish grdnde, grdnna, is grSda. In borrowed 
words nt becomes d in teismeid, ionstrumaid, which both along 
with grada occur in Rannoch also. Sermon appears with d in 
the phrase * dol do n t-searmaid,' equivalent to * going to church,' 
but otherwise is searmoinn, showing undoubtedly more recent 

At Loch Tay ubraid has an alternative pronunciation ubrainn. 
One of the features of the Gaelic there is said to be a partiality 

Prize Essay. 23 

for nn in lieu of both the ng and tlie nd above. As illustrations 
of that are cited the farm names Borlainn at Loch Tay, and 
Borlaig, of which there are two on opposite sides of the Tay, 
within a mile of Aberfeldy and a third in Strathbraan. Both 
forms have been referred to the term bordland, but in that case 
we should expect the second form to be B6rlaid. 

I and r. 
Fiacaill is fiacal ; duilleag, duilleach, coilleag (a smart blow, a 
cuff), have aspirated Z, duileag, coileag ; 61, to drink, has often 
slender I, except in the Infinitive, oil, dh* 6il, oilidh, but ag 61. 
Compare 61ach, pronounced with us, if it is the same word, 
ailea'ich with I long, as if it had been followed by some consonant 
(bh ?) It is used in addressing young men as A.n e so thu 
aileich. Thig an so aileich, etc. 

It is not always easy to distinguish between the broad sounds 
of / and II after vowels. The aspirated / in such positions is often 
sounded as unaspirated /, i.e., as /Z, e.g.^ in falamh, galar, ubhal 
(E. Ir. uball), siubhal. So galad addressed to women in common 
conversation (v. M^Leod and Dewar). 

Oirre, iarr, are pronounced with one r, oire, iar, while iarunn is 
iarrunn. In bodhair, to deafen, r is long, as in c\r, mir, bow'r. 

Intercalation of Vowels. 

Intercalation occurs with us in the case of slender vowels in 
suairc, p^irc, which are completely changed into suairic, p^iric. 
Other instances, such as gilb, sgilm (for sgeilm, cf. Scots skellum), 
etc., and also those with broad vowels confine the intercalated 
sound to the smallest possible limits. 

This is one of the features that differentiate the dialects of 
East and West Perthshire. It is found in Rannoch with the 
groups /6, Ig, rb, and rg, e.g., sgealb, calg, cealg, dearg, are sgealab, 
calag, etc., and so also dearamad, which is with us dearmad. 
The pronunciation of bh after /, r, and n, both there and at Loch 
Tay, may be held to show intercalation along with the vocalisa- 
tion, e.g., dealaah, dearaah in the former, and dealau, dearau in 
the latter place. It is in Glenlyon that this feature seems to 
attain its highest development ; coirc (oats), e.g., sounds like 
coireaaichc (long r). 

Retraction and Loss of Vowkls. 

It is much more common with us either to drop a vowel alto- 
gether or to retract it. The loss of a syllable owing to the drop- 

24 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

ping of a vowel occurs in numerous cases, e.g.^ fags for fagus, tha 
e fags duit (it is near you). Compare pail's (s broad) for pailteas. 
The Future Conditional and the Relative forms of the verb have 
lost a syllable both with us and in Rannoch. Ma bh^thas tu e,. 
am fear a bh^thas e, are pronounced ma bhks, am fear a bh4s e ; 
so ma thogs, ma thilgs, ma chluinns, and am fear a thogs, a thilgs, 
etc., etc. The Future Indicative, where it ends in s, is the same. 

In some cases a vowel-flanked consonant has been silenced 
with varying efifect. Sometimes two syllables have been com- 
pressed into one with a single vowel-sound, e.g., atharrach, faobhar,^ 
Domhnall, abhaist, samhach, innis, l^thair, G^idheal, are arrach,. 
faor, Doll, ^st and aist, soch, is, lair, G^l or G^l ; cf. na g6rt for 
na gabh ort, never heed (anything) ; in other instances there 
remains but an echo of the second vowel sufficient to separate the 
following consonant from the first vowel, e.g.^ agam, agad, etc.^ 
feabhas, seabhag, ubhal, siubhal, siubhail, lathaich are a'm, etc. ; 
feo's, seo'g, u'l, siu'l, siuil, laich ; and in a few instances the result 
is a diphthoiig, e.g., abhag is aug ; cf. Daibhidh and D^idh. 

A terminal vowel in words of more than one syllable is often 
simply dropped. That is the case in furasda, ^asda, grinda, 
lugha, tugha, cridhe, gaisge, grainne, leine, maide ; so also infin- 
itives in adh-, as casgadh, fasgadh, smuaineachadh ; and the 
Future Indicative before mi, sinn, and sibh, as ^ir mi, bris mi, tog 
mi (I will rise, break, lilt). The latter is the only instance of 
terminal i being so dealt with (all the others being a or e), and 
ought perhaps to be treated separately. 

In a few instances those terminal vowels are not found in 
Irish, e.g., ^ite, Ir. and E. Ir. dit ; fe^rna, Ir. fearn, E. Ir. fern ; 
linne, Ir. linn, E. Ir. lind ; but in far more instances they have 
been dropped in Scottish Gaelic, e.g., firinn, trocair, snkth, 
sneachd, tuar (food), tuil, suith, are in Old Irish firi'^me, tr6caire> 
sndthe, snechta, tuare, tuile. Middle Irish suithe ; while occasion- 
ally we have alternative forms which probably means that the 
shorter is the Scottish form and the longer is due to the Irish 
literary influence, e.g,, fad and fada, Ir. fad a, 0. Ir. fota : faich 
and faiche, Ir. E. Ir. faithche ; tighearn and tigheama, Ir. 
tigheama, 0. Ir. tigeme ; so reath and reithe, seich and seiche^ 
etc. So the dropping in words of more than one syllable of a 
terminal a or e, representing in most cases a primitive -to suffix^ 
is not uncommon in Scottish Gaelic, and is almost universal with 
us. In the Dean of Lismore's prose, duine is written dwn. It is 
curious to note that many of the Brittonic cognates have not the 
terminal vowel, e.g., Welsh craidd (heart), mil (mile, etc.), tan 
(fire), aill (other), dyn (man), etc. 

Prize Essay. 25 

Where the terminal vowel has been preceded by /, m, n, or r, 
an impression has been left upon the pronunciation of the word in 
the direction of making the one syllable remaining into two. In. 
such instances as f^inne, baine, n^ire, daoire, aithne, duine, 
gainne, faire, niaille, doille, the slight indistinct sound of the e 
may be said to be simply transferred to the foregoing i. So in 
coma, tana, connadh, Infinitives and 1st sing, and 1st and 2nd 
plu. of Future Indicatives as glanadh, glanaidh, geallaidh, 
gearradh, gearraidh, etc., etc., a similar slight indistinct vowel 
sound in lieu of the dropped terminal vowel sound precedes the 
liquid. In most of those cases the result may be dis-syllabic, e,g., 
aithin, ta'an, geatharr, etc. ; and so also in many other instances 
with liquids, e (/., loinid, goirid, caraid, farraid, uiread, are lo'ind, 
goird, ca'ird, fa'ird, u'ard ; sgeimhle, cuisle, m^irle, beurla, corna, 
are sgeimhil, cuisil, m^iril, beurrall, e6rrann ; compare also 
geamhar, samhar for geamhradh, samhradh, and ceathar, an 
eathar, for ceathrar, an earar. The more usual pronunciation, 
however, must be regarded as monosyllabic, and resembles that 
of athair, br^thair, piuthar, etc., which are often pronounced 
practically as monosyllables, and yet with the vowel sounds of 
both syllables retained. 

Akin to those changes are the pronunciations of the emphatic 
pre] ositional pronouns. Generally the vowel of sa or se is 
dropped, but in «ome instances there is an alternative pro- 
nunciation, in which the vowel precedes s, as in agamas, asamas, 
asas, leamas, leiseas, riumas, riseas. This is sometimes more 
pronounced ih Glenlyon, where leamsa, riumsa, sound liumathas, 
ruimathas (m, of course, long). Ag?mas occurs in Sutherland. 


Unaspirated d is found in iomad for iomadh ; in thuilleadh in 
the phrase thuillead air sin, sometimes thuilleid air sin, and iu 
thigeadh when signifying * ought to,' e.g., " Is e a GhAidhlig a' 
chainnt a thigead bhi anns an duthaich." The form is used by 
John M'Gregor (p. 190)— 

** Chunnaic mi a bhratach uaine 
Ard shuaicheannas Cloinne Ghrigair 
Le craobh ghiubhais dhosrach bhuadhar 
Aig na h-Uaislean mar a thigead." 

The de-aspiration of dh into g has been described under the 
dentals. Similarly g is unaspirated in aigearr for aithghearr. 

26 Gaelic Society of Inuerneaa. 

After nach and mur initial / followed by vowels is aspirated, 
e.g., nach or mur fh^g thu e, nach or mar fh^gadh tu e. So with 
faigh, feiich, feith, etc. Nach and mur originally ended with a 
vowel, but that does not explain the non-aspiration of the other 
consonants after them. Cf. Chan 'eil fhios agam ; de an fbios 
agad ; ma 's fhior (forsooth). Initial / in composition with an 
prefix of excess is also aspirated with us anfhann : it is curious 
that on the West Coast it becomes hh as anbhann (Ir, anbhfann, 
M. If. anbfann, anband), ainbhiach (debt), etc. 

The tendency that prevails in some dialects to aspirate the 
prepos tions does not extend with us to do, de, fo, and gu, but 
affects all the prepositional pronouns, except those formed from 
fo and, of course, troimh. A preceding /i, as is known, prevents 
the aspiration of d (and t) in Gaelic, but not always with us in a 
collocation of words that is constantly in use, ejj., na bean dha, 
dhomh, etc., don't touch him, etc., comes more readily to us than 
na bean da. So with s ; but fagus duit is never fagus dhuit. Co, as, 
is always cho, except sometimes for emphasis tha e co dubh ri 
fitheach. Fein is always aspirated. The phrases mur i (were it 
not, unless, mur i gu 'n d' rinn thu e, had you not done it), and 
cha 'n fhaod a bi ! (it cannot be, surely not !) are noteworthy. 


Eclipsis is confined to the tenues and /. At Blair it is 
constant and regular after n {m with p and /), e.g., an tarbh and 
nan tarbh are an darbh, nan darbh ; an cabar, nan cabar, are 
an gabar, nan gabar, am p4isd, nam p^isd, are am and nam baisd, 
am fear, nam fear, are am and nam bhear. So an tog, an cluich, 
am pronn, am ikg, are an dog, am hhkg, etc., air am fagail is air 
am bh^gail, and so on. Cf. the Dean of Lismore's gan degow 
(gun teagamh). In Strathtay, except in an tig, an t^id, na'n 
tigeadh, na 'n teideadh, it is variable, i.e., the tenues and / some- 
times are and sometimes are not eclipsed. It is oftener beard 
with t and /than with the others, e.g., am faigh is sometimes am 
bhaigh and sometimes am faigh. As in some other dialects, 
b, d, and g after n (m before b) are sounded not as in other 
positions in Gaelic, but like English b, d, and g. 

In Strathtay, in quick utterance, the other way in dealing 
with those groups is sometimes followed, e.g., co' fear tha an sin, 
na' pilleadh e (he would return). This takes place more readily 
with the mediae, e.g., co' duine tha an sin, and occurs with the 
genitive plural of the article and with the conjunction na'n, na'm. 
It is found more decidedly both at Blair and in Strathtay in 

Prize Essay. 27 

certain combinations of words. Anns am bith, in sense of * any,' 
is 's a' bith, as fear 's a' bith, * any man.' Anns an and anns a', 
* in the,' are of course quite commonly 's an or 's 'n, and 's a', as 
cuir 's 'n fhang e, bha e an so 's a' gheamhradh ; tha e 's a' bhaile. 
Before dentals all is gone except s ; tha e 's duthaich, * he is in the 
country' ; cuir 's teine e, * put it in the fire.' Of course t for old 
d of the article appears before s ; tha e 's t-sabhal, * it is in the 
barn' ; thig e s t-samhradh, etc. Even with foghar and earrach 
t appears — bha e 's t-fhoghar, bha e 's t earrach, which, though 
differing from modem are in agreement with the old Gaelic isind 
fhogomur, isind erroch. Stigd and steach are of course classical 
instances. The full forms anns an, anns am, may be heard in 
more formal speech. 

Assimilation and Dissimilation, 

Some other phenomena may be dealt with under this heading, 
though even eclipsis is properly a form of assimilation, only that 
it is external and not internal. In contrast with the preceding is 
the insertion of t in the adverbs an t-so, an t-sin, an t-sud, and 
mu'n t-seach (here, there, yonder, across). Similar is the t in 
•Chaidh e an t-seilbh (at other times na 'sheilbh) is rinn e e (he 
set about it and did it) ; chaidh e an t-seilbh a' ghnothaich (he 
set about the business) ; and in Strath tay the t in bonn t-s^ 
(halfpenny), and De an t-s6rt th' ann and De an sort th' aun, both 
used indifferently. The combination nt is got rid of wherever 
possible, note baindiorna for baintighearna ; but even that has 
evidently been more tolerable than ns, which is avoided by one 
expedient or another in most dialects it not in all, e.g., an so 
appears elsewhere as an t-so or an d-so, an a so, and a so. Cf. nd 

Broad n somehow takes t or d after it very readily, e.g., tabh- 
unntaich (barking), deargannt (cf. however E. Ir. dergnat), and 
the borrowed words lurdannt (cunning), stannd (a vat), and in 
Strathtay p4ndair (beans). 

There is a suffixing of terminal dentals with other consonants, 
mostly in loan words, e.g., cumaint (common), bruthaist, bagaist 
{baggage), subailt, tubhailt, speisealt (comely, creditable, M. Ir. 
sbesailte, special), but Lot in biteal (elsewhere biotailt). There 
are at least of native instances, faighneachd (ask), so throughout, 
and amailt ioc amail (hindrance). It is a question if our daonalt 
{always) and daonnan or daondan can be regarded as the same 

28 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Strub, spoilt, from Scot, stroup, is in Strath tay strump. At 
Loch Tay and in Strath tay there is also strump, meaning a 
stump, applied at Blair (in plural) to a stubbly growth of beard. 
This in turn evidently owes its r to the foregoing word. In 
eisiomplair we h?jve assimilated p to ?», in aindeoin d to n, and t 
to nn in ma shanntaicheas (tu, e, etc.), which is very common in 
the sense *if you choose or care (to do anything).' So na*n 
sannaichinn, but in the sense of * covet ' t is always kept. 

Mac Alpine's stuidearra is with us stuideama, uaigiieach is 
uairgneach as in Skye, and guilbneach is guilbeamach. Stroc, 
applied to a piece of wood, an old horse, etc , is evidently the 
word stoc, a stump, etc. The word for thistle is faighrean and 
foighrean, which may be compared with aigheannach and 
oighionnach. Macleod and Dewar make the latter (o form) 
feminine, and the former (a form) masculine, with the additional 
meaning * place where thistles grow.' Lunnain, muinichill, and 
capall-coille are with us Lumainn, muilichir, and capar-coille. 
Sgulan, in Strathtay sgiiilean, is at Blair sgiilar. Leumnaich or 
leumraich we have made leumartaich. Mnathan (wives) is 
bnathan, pronounced brathan, and the genitive singular also 
when used is bra. Mnathan, pronounced mrathan, E. Ir. mnA, is 
itself for a pre-historic bnks ; but in view of the E. Ir. form our b^ 
must be regarded as a recent development from m^ and not as a 
preservation of the original. Taillse (a as ao short) for taibhse is 
notable, as the tendency elsewhere is to assimilate II to s in such 
words as soillse, foillsich. Dhal-stigh, and in Strathtay and 
Lochtayside also al-stigh (within time), al-stigh do dha la (within 
two days), in other dialects a stigh do dha \k, can hardly b& 
referred simpliuiter to a stigh (inside). Ma rua, alas, woe, both 
compassionate and threatening ; ma rua dhuit ! woe to you ! 
in Sutherland and Ross ma ruar seems to be the mo nuar of 
Laoidh Dheirdre. (See also^Vol. XV., p. 208, of the Transac- 

At Blair urlar is uUar, while in Stathtay currachd, or rather 
currac, may sometimes be heard as curiae, and the cuilidh- 
siuchaireachd of Blair as cuirlidh siucaireachd. The sgl^mhraig 
(for sglamhruinn) of East Perthshire is in Rannoch sgl^nihrsa, at 
Loch Tay sglamhrsaig. The Rannoch aimhreas shows confusion^ 
between aimhleas and aimhreit. 


There are a few instances of prothesis. Kag, oir (edge),, 
aithnich, are feag, foir, faithnich. Os (above) is bhos, sometimes. 

Prize Essay. 29 

fos, perhaps influenced by bho (from). On the other hand 
freumh and faileas are reumh and aileas, probably derived from 
ail (mark, impressiou). The imperative of faic in familiar speech 
is aic, which is never used independently, but is always followed 
by the pronouns aic thn, aic sibh. The interjection oit oit (so 
Strathtay), expressive of heat, is foit foit at Blair. 

Sgiolc, compared by Mr Macbain with Eng. skulk, is giolc 
with us. MacAlpine's toraidh, a word to excite bulls (whence 
Tory), is with us 8t6r. Gunna-sgailc (pop-gun) is gunna-gailc. 
Compare also sm^igean (frog) with m^gau. 

The bat is an dialltag-anmoch, influenced by our diaghaltach 
<fond of). 

A few other remarks may be grouped together. Such addenda 
as are found in Strathtay in an drastaich, rithisdich, fhathastaich, 
are found, especially with the demonstratives in other districts, 
€.g., Sutherland, Kin*yre. 

A predilection for slender sounds appears in coirc (oats), 
ainneamh (rare), air adhairt (forward), fadhairseach, at Blair 
fadharsach, cumaint (common), siobhailt from civil, the Irish 
sfothamhuil, E. Ir. sidamiil being our sitheil. Farsuinn, 
f^rs-inachd, tarsuinn, ursainn, have r broad, s slender farsinn, 
farseanachd, etc. 

Balair for barail, Dean of Lismore ballir, occurs also in 
Badenoch, and coilinn for coiuneal is common. Achlais, arm-pit, 
in some dialects asgall, Ir. ascall, M. Ir. ochsal, is with us aslaic. 
Provection alone is not sufficient to explain toman-ealaidh, spider, 
for damhan-allaidh. 

The Article. 
The s of the article which is preserved after an, a, gu, le, and 
ri was found in the old language with other prepositions of con- 
sonantal terminal sound, and of these oue instance remains in 
Perthshire (East and West). ' On the fire' is airs teine, as cuir 
airs teine e, tha e airs teine, which was in the old language forsin 
tenid, the an, old in, of the article being lost as described above. 
That 8 is preserved before gach also, but not invariably thainig 
fear a gach Mte or as gach aite ; and there is the like uncertainty 
both in other dialects and in the old language. 

The tendency is to reduce the inflections of the noun to two 
forms, the singular and the plural, e.g. tigh an fhear, plu. na 
fearan, but as a rule the plural is properly formed ceann, plu. 

30 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

cinn ; fiadh, plu. f^idh ; coileach, pi. coilich. The following may 
be noted — abhainn, g. abhna, p. abhnaichean ; amliaich, g. 
amhcha ; teangaidh, p. teaugaidhean ; monadh, g. monaidh, p. 
monaidhean and monachan ; dorus, p. doirsinn ; diithaich, p. 
diiithchean ; teine, p. teineachan ; obair, p. obraichean and 
obairchean ; ceard, ). ciuird ; gniomh, p. gniomlian ; latha, p. 
lathan and lathaichean ; easjjj (an eel), p. easgan. Creag has n.s. 
craig, n.p. cragan and creagan. Beann, the old nominative of 
beinn, is not obsolete, though it is not a word that is often used 
as a common noun. In many instances the oblique case has 
displaced the true nominative, e.g., n.s. cluais, n.p. cluaisean, so 
ceairn for cearn ; especially is that the case with nn stems, e.g., 
n.s. gobhainn, n.p. goibhnichean ; Gobha is, however, retained as 
a family name. The dental plural luchaidh (mice) is still kept in 
Strath tay, although tlie singular has become luchag, from which 
another plural, luchagan, has been formed. Distinctive genitives 
such as leapach and leapa, E. Ir. leptha, from leabaidh, coille for 
coinnle from coinneal, are generally in use. 

Infinitives in -adii are not inflected, but that is due not to 
adherence to what is philologically correct, but to the modern 
disregard of inflection, as is shown by the retention of the inflected 
form in stereotyped expressions like muileann-bualaidh, muileann- 
s4bhaidh, muileann-galcaidh. The tendency of stereotyped words 
and phrases to preserve inflections is also exhibited in * caol mo, 
do, etc., dhuirn,' * caol nan dorn,' * solus geal nan trath,' etc., the 
noticeable feature of which is that the nominatives never supplant 
the genitives as they do in extemporised syntax. The word 
* tigh' keeps its genitive well, the distinction being made between 
the two cases that i is sounded short aoi in the nominative and 
ai in the genitive. Stereotyped plural datives are found like 
beulaobh, culaobh, and perhaps chianaibh (written chianamh by 
Macleod and Dewar), and the vocative fheara sounded fhearu, but 
in Rannoch fheara. More interesting is the preservation of coin, 
the old dative of cu, in Cho lonach ris a' choin, as greedy as the 
dog. B6, gen. b6, is never used in the plural, crodh being sub- 
stituted for it. The genitive boin is heard, I believe, at Loch 
Tay. Talamh, masculine, has one genitive talaimh, masculine, 
and another na talmhainn, feminine. Summer, winter, are with 
us usually samhar, geamhar, genitives samhair, geamhair, but 
sometimes the correct forms with their genitives assert themselves 
as toiseach an t-samhraidh, deireadh a' gheamhraidh, and even, as 
in other dialects, through the force of analogy, meadhon an 
fhogharaidh. Reodh, frost, pronounced reu, h«is two genitives, 
pronounced respectively rewi and reo'i. 

Prize Essay. 31 


The third personal pronouns are a and aw/, except in the 
positions detailed under ta, when they are pronounced e, eid ; in 
Strathtay the plural is sometimes also ad and had ; the emphatic 
forms are ais, aids, etc. The emphatic particle sa retains but a 
faint echo of its vowel usually, and is used with the first person 
plural of the prepositional pronouns, e.g., againns, not againn-ne. 

The interrogative ciod, except in ciod air bith, or ciod 's am 
bith, is usually gu de, or even d^. In Strathtay, ceachd is used 
for whether (or not) ? and also for which one ? but in latter sense 
is followed by fear, te, or an (for aon). Ciamar, why, is ci'mar. 

Aon in enumeration is pronounced with ao b& H ; used with a 
noun it is sounded ann, as ann fhear ; as an indefinite pronoun it 
is an, sounded by us as if it were for ana, e.g., Bheil an agad ? — 
Cha 'n 'eil ann an = * Have you one '\ — Not (a single) one.' 
Cha 'n 'eil ann an ann, ihere is not one in it. Ann an may be 
compared with the Manx unnane (one), used as a substantive, and 
the Old Irish oenan, * ullus.' 

Some forms of the Prepositional Pronouns are — diaoinn, diaoi' 
(dinn, dibh), eadaruinn, eadarui, eataru (Old etrunn, etruib, 
etarru), foidhe, Old foi, which is the preposition plus the accusa- 
tive of the pronoun, while in fodha. Old foa, it is the dative of the 
pronoun ; lium,liuinn, liui, leu or lewa, for leam, leinn, leibh, leo. Old 
lemm and liumm, lenn and linn, lib, leu, and lethu ; bhot, bhoith, 
bhoipe, bhopa ; uat, uaith, uaipe, uapa, with hh in other forms. 
Other forms are eadarum, eadarut (1st and 2nd sing.), as eadarut. 
is am balla, between you and the wall ^0. Ir. etrom, Ir. eadrat) ; 
also gunaibh, without you, 0. Ir. cenuib. 

The Verb. 
The regular verb is fully kept in the active voice with the 
exception of the forms in am (1st sing impv.) and maid, which are 
seldom heard. The Future Indicative has a terminal s before the 
pronouns tu, e, lad, e.g., togs tu e (you will lift it), etc. The s is 
held to be that of si (she), which has been extended sometimes to 
e and iad. It is a precarious explanation for a phenomenon so 
firmly fixed and so widely spread as this is in the North High- 
lands, and it can scarcely stand without being supported by the 
assumption that the form has at least been influenced by the 
recollection of the old s Future. The regular form of the Future 
is always used when the subject is a noun, as ruithidh clach 
le gleann. Before all the personal pronouns the future inflection 
is wanting, e.g., tog 'mi e (I will lift it) ; ruith mi (I will run) ; so 
bris sinn e, bath sibh e, etc. 

32 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

"The 2nd plural Imperative," Mr Macbaiii says, "retains the 
old form in Badenoch, though in the literary language and in the 
other dialects it has given way to the force of analogy. Thus, in 
the grammars we have eisdibh (hear ye), the bh of which is taken 
from sibh ; but Badenoch maintains the original eisdidh cr 
^isdith, just as the Dean of Lismore has it in 1512 — eistith." 
Eisdidh or eisdith, and so with other verbs, is our form also, and 
it is so not because it is the old form, but because sibh is pro- 
nounced si with us. The Dean, however, has also estew, and in 
Rannoch, as already noticed, the form is ^isd'u, which shows 
another pronunciation of sibh, viz., siu (s'u). 

The Infinitives of caomhain, coisinn, fosgal, innis, seachainn 
(forseachain), are caomhan, coisinn, fosgal, innis, seachann. Bean 
(touch), fan, lean, have beanachd, fauichd, leanachd. 

The Passive forms, with the exception of the participle, are 
seldom used, the sense being expressed by the verbs * to be' and 
* to go' joined to the infinitive or passive yarticiple, as tha e air 
'fhaighinn (he is found) ; bha e air a thogail, or chaidh a thogail 
(he was lifted) ; chaidh a moladh (she was praised) : tha e briste 
(it is broken) ; bha e briste (it was broken). 

The Passive participle of verbs ending with unaspirated mutes 
and explosives is in -it instead of in -te, €,g,, stracte, ithte, muchte, 
tuchte, deasaichte, bogte, f^isgte, are stracait, ichit, muchait. 
tuchait, deasaichit, bogait, faisgit ; tachdte, seidte, d6irte, 
baiste, dite are tachdait, seidit, d6irtit, baistit, d'ltit ; reubte, 
prabte, sgapte are reubait, prabait, sgapait. * Swollen ' is 
atait. Some of those appear otherwise, faiste tachte, and all, 
except those with terminal dentals, appear sometimes m the 
regular form. The -it form extends into West Perthshire also, 
eg., at Loch Tay * nailed' is tairgit. Professor Rhys, who has 
observed the same form in some Manx verbs, but without indi- 
cating its range, e.g., banniit, i.e,, beannaichit (blessed), with the 
characteristic Manx loss of slender c/i, explains it as the suffix of 
the passive participle of the old second conjugation. Our form 
may be the result of differentiation, or the wish to distinguish, 
e,g., dit-t' from d\t, combined with the endeavour after ease of 
utterance. Compare gabhaid and faicid which occur in Suther- 
landshire for the Passive Subjunctives gabhteadh and faicteadh. 

Of the irregular verbs, thubhairt has two futures, their and 
abairidh. Thoir has infinitive to'art and tort (o close). Gheibh 
is gheo (close o). Chaidh has deach for deachaidh, and reach for 
rach, &c. Th^inig is often thain, and chunnaic chunna, and even 

Prize Essay, 33 


Some adverbs of time are air bh6 'n de (close e), (on) the day 
before yesterday ; air bho 'n raoir (the night before last) ; air bh6 
'n uiridh (the year before last) ; bho meaning * from ' to which the 
accent has been shifted, and all that follows in each case is pro- 
nounced as one word. * The next day ' or * the morrow ' (not 
to-%norrow) is an altar mhaireach for the usual an la'r n' mhaireach, 
which, with an la prefixed, is the Irish ar na mharach, Early Irish, 
iarnabarach, amabarach, tkc, rendered *day after to-morrow,' 
which is surely a mistake for *the morrow,* or *the next day,' 
But what is altar or alt — an alt air mhaireach? Macleod and 
Dewar give 'alt time.' Carswell (p. xxiv.) has an dara mhaireach. 

A muigh and a s teach are not used, a mach and a stigh being 
employed, both of motion and of rest. Upwards and downwards 
are an aird and a bh^n ; up and down (rest) are uthard and iolar, 
at Blair, h-uthard ^nd h iolar. Iolar is not a good spelling, the 
«ound of io being short ao in one place and short u in another. 
The derivation seems to be an-lar. Uthard, in view of our 
tendency to retraction, might be for urad, and that, or rather 
thiirad, is the form in Sutherlandshire. 


The preposition * beside ' is oftenest expressed by na ri or a na 
ri ; tha e ) a ruit, it is near to you, it is beside you ; tha e na ris 
an tigh. Like mar ri, na ri is sounded as one word, i.e., with the 
accent on n^. At Blair it is nai ri. The n, being aspirated, may 
belong to the preposition an. It furnishes a rhyme in 

" Thuirt an dubh luidinneach ris an dubh-spkgach 
Damhsaidh mi cuide ruit, suidhidh mi na riut," 

which is as much as to say *' Birds of a feather flock together." 
The word is as old at least as the time of the Dean of Lismore, 
who has nawriss (Rel. Celt. I., 46). 


The Conjunction * before' is mus an, or mus alone, as mus an 
tainig e, or mus tainig e, before he came. * Else' is air dheodh 
and air deodh. *Lest' is dh' eagal gu'n. The indirect inter- 
rogative conjunction Ho see if,' the * if haply' of the Scriptures is 
dh' fhios an in Strathtay. It occurs in Dr James Macgregor's 
** Obair an Spioraid Naoimhe." 


34 Gaelic Society of Inuerness^ 

" 'S theid thu rannsach' le durachd 
'S le mor ghr^in do d' mhi-churam, 
Dh* fhios am faighear Ceann-iuil dut 
A sheolas slighe as ur dhut, 
'S e do mhiann a iiis ciil chur ri t' ^bhaist." 

Quotations are introduced by the formula mus an duirt thii 
fhein e, mus an duirt am fear eile e, * as you said yourself,' etc. 
* In order that' is ors gu 'n, as, Sgriobh mi ors gu 'n cluinninn uait,. 
I wrote in order that 1 might hear from you. It may be a 
corruption of a los which is used in the same way. The latter 
form is used exclusively with an infinitive following, e g., The e a 
los a dheanamh, he intends to do it. 


The Interjection expressive of great heat has been mentioned ; 
that similarly expressive of cold is aoit aoit (uit uit). Ab ab and 
(stronger) tha bhap corresi)ond very much to ub ub. Fuieh 
sometimes expressive of disgust, but then oftener fich, at other 
times corresponds to English tuts, as does fuidh fuidh to tut tut. 
Fith bib corresponds to * fie, shame,' as does ce ce to come, come. 
Cf. Scot, kay kay of like meaning. Moram or moram fhein (tha, 
's e, etc.), has been referred to rao anam, but is more likely to be 
for Moire umam. 


The position of the accent determines when a compound word 
.shoulrl be written with or without a hyphen between the parts. 
Thus teann-shath is with us teannath, accented on first syllable ; 
di-chuimhne is diochain, and ban-mhaighstir, banaistir ; ban- 
tighearna is bendiorna, and cas-bheart, caiseart, where there is 
vowel infection in addition ; so lethbhreac, lethcheann, leth-char, 
leth-tfiobh, etc., are all as one word, lebhreac, etc. 

The change of o to u, associated with loss of accent iu bonn 
t-se, and of e to i in gean-math, have been mentioned, and there 
are other instances of changes accompanying movements of 
accent. The preposition thun (from gu) is pronounced un, but in 
the adverbial phrase thun bhi, meaning almost or nearly, 
equivalent to o^u bhi, as tha e gu bhi deas, gu bhi stigh, it is 
about ready, it is almost in, it is accented and pronounced hun. Le 
clieile, when it means ' together,' is accented in the ordinary way 
on cheile, but when it means 'both,' le also is accented, and has 
its vowel long le. The vowel of the first syllable ^iginn used 
pronominally loses its accent, and is shortened in general. With 

Prize Essay. 35 

us in ordinary usage it disappears entirely, as fear'ginn, rud'ginn, 
cuid'ginn, etc. ; but when the word is emphatic the syllable is 
retained and accented, and the vowel is changed into u, as 
fear h-uiginn, la h-uiginn (u'ginn), etc. Compare also air bh6 'n 
de, etc., supra, in which o and e have become 6 and f, and also the 
lengthening of the pronoun in such expressions as Mo thruaighe 
thu, etc., and Ma rua thu, which influenced by the other idiom 
Ma rua dhuit, is with us sometimes Ma rua dhu. 


aoghaist {gh sounded), Strathtay, fishing line ; ad-gaoisid. 
bacraineach, Str thtay, the larger ferns, as distinguished from the 

bata in gu bata, * abundance,* stronger than gu leoir. At Loch 

Tay they make it gu bata na peasarach. Cf. MacAlpine's 

buta, difference (in price), surplus ; in Arran discount. From 

Eng. bate, 
beo, air in gentle motion ; tha am be6 a* fas fuar, the air is grow- 
ing cold ; chan 'n eil be6 ghaoith ann, there is not a brekth 

of air. It is not used of (vital) breath, which is the primary 

signification of de6. 
beo, life, as de am be6 th' ort, equivalent to how are you. The 

old language had the noun which seems to be overlooked in 

modern dictionaries. 
be61an, livelihood ; tha e a' faotainn a bheolain, he gets his living, 
bleithteach, a kind of gruel ; at Loch Tay bleith-te6, from bleith. 
bonn, to sole (boots, etc.), from bonn, noun, 
brabhd, anything bulky, especially a big and very stout person ; 

so at Abriachan and in MacAlpine. 
broadag, a tantrum ; ghabh e braodag, he took offence, he took 

the huff. See the vocabulary in Dr Henderson's edition of 

John Morrison's Poems, and cf. the Abriachan braothag with 

same meaning, 
buann, plural buanntaich, masculine, a child, Strathbraan. 
bulbhag, in bulbhag chloiche, a boulder; Macleod and Dewar 

balbhag, pebble, 
bulg, to bulge, same as bolg, verb, marked obsolete by Macleod 

and Dewar. 
caig, to teaze, torment ; v. Macleod and Dewar under * teaze ' and 

* teazer.' 
cas, as in bha e an cas gu'n tigeadh tu, he was anxious that you 

would come, 
ceabhcach (cyawcach), artful, wily ; cf. ciagach, sly-humoured. 

36 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

ceabhcair (cyawchcair), Blair and Loch Tay, rogue, wily fellow. 

cealaich, conceal, hide. 

cearmanaich, to tidy. 

coireanaich, to fondle, make much of, make comfortable ; from 

ceithreimhean, quarters, lodgings ; for ceithreamhnan. 
oiad, Strath tay, opinion, impression ; ghabh mi droch ciad deth, 

I formed a bad opinion of him : cf. ceudfadh. 
cillean (Blair), a scamp ; is e cillean grandu a th' ann, he is a 

nasty fellow, 
cith, " ardour" (Armstrong) ; cith chatha is equal to mire chatba ; 

an cith, in the mood, attuned, eager to do (anything), 
clisneach, one side or slope of a roof ; clisneach, a bar-gate, is the 

same word, as is also clisneach, the human body (frame), etc. 

Rob Donn'e cliseach, side of the body. 
cl6imhneag, flake of snow, shows confusion between 16ineag and 

cneadag, a fir-cone ; at Loch Tay and Strathtay, shinty ; also at 

Loch Tay, cluich chnead, shinty, 
cneapall, a garter ; in Skye cneapailt (Armstrong creapall). 

Shaw has creabille, garter, and creapall, to stop, hinder, etc. 

Macleod and Dewar give cnaimh-built, from cn^imh and bait ! 

Cf. creapall, entangling, hindering, founded on English 

cripple (Macbain). 
co-leic (accent on leic), a cuff', a slap, 
corpaich, to be disgusted at, to revolt from ; chorpaich mi ris, 

Loch Tay. Equal to fiirlaich, sub. in meaning, 
croidhle {oi as aoi), an egg-shaped wicker receptacle for balls of 

worsted ; *a basket, hamper' (Armstrong) ; in Skye croidhleag. 
culm, energy, push, liveliness (about business) ; culmor, vigorous, 

active. John Macgregor has the latter — 

" Biridh Sithain is Tururich, 
Gu cuilmar a' t' aobhar 
Is na leomhain nach aomadh 
dha thaobh Lochafraochaidh" — p. 180. 

cuilidh-siuchaireachd, at Blair, cuirlidh-slucaireachd in Strathtay, 
doing things in a comer, sly work. From siochair, fairy ; 
M. Ir. sidhcaire, fairy host. 

curraidh, to sit on the heels, as sailors and colliers do ; called in 
the Lowlands the " colliers' curry," curry itself meaning a 
stool ; Welsh cwrrian, verb, and cwrrwm, noun. 

dana, the evil one, tha e a' dol thun na dana, he is going to the 
bad. It occurs in the place-name Glaic na dana, to which a 
legend is attached. 

Prize Essay. 37 

deanaich, working; bh^l e a' deanaich an dratsda, has he got 
employment, has he got a job at present, or a mill, e.g., it is 
going at present (in opposition to being closed and disused). 

diaghaltach (air), fond of (anyone or anything). 

dr^ichd (Strath tay), a slattern, a drudge (Armstrong). 

dreug, a horse ? The old prophecy " Bheir sean dreug bh^n na 
bhios dh' oighreachan air Bealach thun na Cille*' is said tp 
have been fulfilled by an undertaker who rode an old white 
horse when making the arrangements for the funeral of the 
last of the old line. 

driug, any illness, the name and cause of which are unknown. 
The way it is used is ghabh e driug ; evidently the word 

dromach, the *rigbody' or saddle-chain of a cart; from druim. 

dubh-reabha, and dubh-reabhgan, a mole ; * dubh-reotha' (Arm- 
strong) ; for dubh-threabhadh, black digger. 

diicaUj a heap ; Armstrong, due id. 

duiteag, a stout little woman ; in Arran, doiteag id. Argyllshire 
tradition says that it was * na doiteagan Muileach ' (the 
Mull witches) who raised the tempest that wrecked the 
Spanish Armada 

eicjidh, suit, dress ; not eididh. 

fabhair, a whisper, faint rumour ; *vo-beir. 

fabhunn, a rumour, report ; *vo-sven. 

fasdadh, at Blair fasgadh, fix, fasten. 

feo. Loch Tay and Strathtay synonymous with be6, supra ; feo 
fuar a chamhanaich, the cold morning air. Macleod and 
Dewar, feochan, s.v. * air.* 

frioghlaisg, a shred of skin turning up at the base of the finger- 
nail ; at Loch Tay, barb of hook also. 

fiicadh, pushing, or moving heavily. 

f{irlaich, revolt from, have an antipathy to; dh' fhiirlaich e ris, 
he cannot endure it. 

f uthair, the dog days ; cf . * f ure days, late in the afternoon ; fair 
fure days, broad day-light,* Jameson, who cites A.S. forth 
dages ; Teut. veur-dagh. Cf. Dr Henderson, " Leabhar nan 
Gleann,' p. 4. 

geabhag, twist, distortion ; geabhgach, awry, askew ; at Blair, 
geoic and geocach. 

glidich and glid, to move slightly. 

gnoimh, sulky look ; cliuir e gn6imh air, he made faces. 

gonan, at Blair goinnean, grass roots; cf. goin-fheur and cona, 
cat's tail or moss-crops. 


38 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

iomallas, hesitation, uncertainty. 

ite, an adze, Scots eetch. 

labanaixjh, bedraggle, bespatter with mud. 

ladas, loud talk, Blair and Loch Tay. 

leatach, remote, isolated ; from leatli-taobh. 

leiceid. Loch Tay also; at Blair, leicheid. Macleod and Dewar, 

leacaid, a slap on the cheek ; Manx ley gad ; from leac, cheek, 
liab, a rag, tatter, 
loir, to wallow, 
longadh, a diet, id. Munro's Gramojar; pronounced by us lo (for 

luig, to desire, long, wish ; at Loch Tay * ludhaig air' is used in 

the sense of to wish (to or on) one. 
luis, outiush of water; luis fhuachd, a cold shiver, 
luthasaich, to allow, permit, 
maoidheanach, friendly ; from maoidhean. 
milean, noun, fawning; cf. mio'asg 

moislich, v.n., Strathtay, to stir (out of sleep) ; in Lewis smuaislich. 
[mothar, a park, clump of trees, etc., Armstrong, Windisch.] 

Place name in Glenlyon 
muganach, damp and misty of weather ; from muig (mug) ; at 

Blair muchanach, influenced by much, 
murthal, grumbling ; also murlaich. 
nianradh, in clach-nianradh, grinding stone, 
nichean, a thing, plu. nicheanan, used often in emphasis for ni. 

John Macgregor has it, p. 12L The -an has not the sound 

of the dim, -an perhaps for nitheanu. 
patan, a cloth tied round the cheeks as for toothache, 
peallag, a trollop ; from peall in sense of rough, unkemp. 
pleigh, to fight. 

pr^amh (Blair), synqnymous with pr^mh, a slumber, light sleep, 
pri-taoil, a clatter ; na leig bhan e le pri-taoil, don't let it down 

with a clatter or suddenly ; thainig e stigh le pri-taoil, he 

came rushing in. So Loch Tay. 
prois, beseech, entreat, urge, 
r^idh (air), to scold, to * rage at.' 
raigealtacb, rascal, rollicking fellow, 
reamalair, same as ramhlair. 
reota, root', frosty, distinct from reoidhte, frozen ; also reotaidh 

(Strathtay) as oidhche re6taidh, a frosty night, 
reota, reot', frost, chiefly in the phrases f uachd an reota and t\r an 

re6ta, both which occur in John Macgregor's Songs (pp. 152 

215). Munro (p. 45 of Grammar) makes it the only genitive 

of eotha . 

Prize Essay. 39 

riad, a crack, a split (in wood), (Blair). 

rioghainn, a regular verb, with infinitive rioghainn, to reach to, to 

arrive at ; an rioghainn thu air, can you reach it ; an do 

rioghainn thu an t-^ite, did you reach the place, 
saich, ill; Armstrong has soithich, s.v. *ill' {ai as short aoi). 
• Properly *bad,' in health, E. Ir., saich, eter maith ocus 

saich (both good and bad), Leabhar na h-Uidhre. 
samht, a thud, also a very stout person, 
seachainn, dispense with, do without, avoid, 
seanagar, sagacious, wise ; cf., seanagarra. 
seirean, ankle, Strathtay and Loch Tay ; so Armstrong. Early 

Irish, seir, translated heel ; v., Macbain, s.v., speir. 
flgeilc, noun and verb, a crackling sound, to crackle, e.g.j of burning 

wood, of seed-pods of broom bursting; sgeilceil, crackling; 

cf. sgeilcearra. 
sgeith, a shape ; also verb, to cut, to lop, to shape. Macalpine 

sgiorlaich, to crush (e.g., an orange), to squash, 
sgiut, to scatter, equal to sgiot. 
sglogaist, a large spit, distinguished from sglongaid by absence of 

colouring matter, 
siach, to avoid, Strathtay. 
sic, a snatch, an attempt ; thug an cu sic air, the dog snapped at 

him ; thug e sic as a dh^idh, he made a dash after him. 
siochadh, peace ; mentioned luider mh. John Macgregor (p. 68) 

says : — 

" Do 'n Righ bha iad dionach, 
Anns gach ni a bha ciatach 
Cumail riaghailt is siochadh 's an rioghachd." 

sladaig (air), working hard at, going at it ; cf. slachdadh. 

smaiteard, youth, young ' spark.' Strathtay. 

spacadh, wrestling ; cha iad ri spacadh, or tha iad a cur spacadh. 

" 'S 'n uair a bhuail a throigh an tr^ighe 
Cha bhiodh e mall a ghlacadh e 
Bu luaithe steudadh e na ghaoth 
'S cha chumadh Caoilte spaca ris." 
John McGregor, p. 121 (also p. 116). 

epealp, a high-spirited youth ; Strathtay. A poem in the " High- 
land Monthly," Vol. II., p. 287), has the lines— 

" Chaiil i spealp do dhuin' uasal 
Ga 'ra bu dual a bhi treabhach." 

40 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

spoltadh, »cattcring drops of water, etc., from a vessel ; spoltan^ 

plural, drops so scattered, 
stac, a thick set little man. 
stairmeil, sturdy, plucky, 
staim, a particle ; bheil stairn ann, is there any in it ; perhaps 

primarily is there sound of anything in it. Staim, noise,, is 

stairn with us. 
stale, a stout, burly man. 

steairn, a roaring fire ; also tha steairn air, he is tipsy, 
stiollan, a string, a cord. Cf. stiall. 
strac, quantity, Loch Tay ; strac math shneachdaidh, heavy fall of 

straighlear, noisy fellow, 
striall, a long rag ; so MacAlpine. 
stuig, projecting, jutting out. 
stulp, a knob, as of a chair or bed. 

tairleas, cupboard. Cf. Welsh twrlaes or torllaes, paunch-bellied, 
taiteadh, to tame, reconcile to a new home, 
tarradh, * leading,' *.«., carting the corn home to the stackyard, 
tiolm, a bite, a mouthful, 
ubairt, moving heavy articles, 
uracil, change, alteration, used as atharrach is sometimes, but 

with the sense of newness rather than mere change, e.g,y 

chuir e air urach d6ighe e, he put it in a new way. 

A few of the calls to animals may be noticed. To call a horse 
prog prog and progaidh are used ; to call a cow pruidh pruidh 
and a calf pruith-e. To call a dog to drive away cattle usg usg, 
usgaidh, usgus, and usg had (Eng. u\ and in sending it at them, 
hurr had, and turr had are used. All are borrowed probably. 
Compare the Scots isk, iskie, and hirr, Welsh hyr, pushing or 
egging on, as well as the snarl of a dog — Jameson. The only 
others that need be mentioned are ciridh, the call to sheep, and 
poich poich, and poichidh to young pigs. 

Borrowed words, both from PLnglish and from Scottish, are 
naturally numerous. A few not yet referred to may be mentioned, 
and in them bh between a or o and another consonant represents 
the sound of u in English * our.' 

bacaid, Scots backet, English bucket, Gael, bucaid. 

biurtaig, to over exert, from burst. At Blair murtaig, influenced 

by murt. 
bisidh, busy, 
biteal, elsewhere biotailt. 

Prize Essay. ^^ 

blearom, nonsousical talker ; Scots bletherum? 

bleitheas, a bLtze ; also small brusliwood. 

bobhdaig, beating. 

breas, mantelpiece ; Scots brace 

can, e.g., tha e air a chan fhein, he is (iu business) on his owa 

account ; Scots, he is on his own can. 
callathar, cool and healthy ; Sc. caller ; " Cho callathar ris a 

ceapaig, to catch, stop ; Scots kep. 
eneapan, a stool ; Scots creepy, 
cuife and cuifean, a ninny ; Scots coof. 
druitLlig, to drill about, to drive round about ; Scots dreel. 
druithleagan, oatmeal dough for feeding chickens, etc. 
obhnaig, to touch, to meddle with ; Scots, to own, id. 
obhraig, church colhiction, * offering.' 
ofhaich, use, worth, Blair. Bheil ofhaich anu, is it good, is there 

anything in it, is it of any use or value. From officium. 
ofhaich ear. an officer. 

paisean, a faint ; chaidh e 'n a phaisean, he fainted ; from passion, 
piuirn, a bobbii , *pirn.' 
plobht, a plumj) of rain, sound of anything falling into water; 

ploigh, diversion, amuse nent ; Scots ploy, 
prabht, a trick ; Scots prat, 
reabhair, one fond of runcing about, 
reabhaireachd, running about ; apparently influenced at least by 

* rover.' 
riseil, to rustle, 
seai'sa-mach, notice to quit, 
smideam, pith, mettle ; Scots sraeddum. 
sort (sorst), a kind, a sort, 
stramb, to trample ; Scots stramp. 

The Scottish girnall appears as gaoimeal in Strathtay, and 
gaoirlear (ao short) further west, and gardener as gairnlear, 
gairneil, and at Aberfeldy gairlear. Stock seems to have been 
borrowed twice, for it appears both as stoc, e.g., stoc cail, and as 
stroc, a piece of firewood, applied metaphorically also to a bony 
old horse. Warning appears as bardaig, iu West Perthshire 
bardainn, Duncan Ban barlainn. Brimstone is pronaistear. Such 
words as George, Janet, etc., take initial d — Deorsa, Deonaid, and 
80 to change is teinutig, or sometimes seiuntig. 

42 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

There are four words >vhich Lave the diphthong aoL and all 
probably borrowed, viz., snaoic, a chunk, from snack ; slaoic, a 
large slice (Macfarlane slaoichd), ; paoic, a piece ; glaoic (Macbain 

The game of " Cattie and doggie" is ca-dog, and a common 
imprecation is *An droch cam-on ort/ both expressions being 
accented on the last syllable. 

Some usages of words may be noticed in conchision. Anail is 
used for a rest, and gabh t' anail for take a rest, or rest yourself. 
Bard in Strath tummel as in Badenoch means a meadow. Ceam, 
which is constantly use4 for * kitchen,' is known in the same sense 
elsewhere. Insane is air cheil, or air cheil 's an inntinn ; the 
word may be cheill. Coimhead means *to look at,' except in 
'g a choimhead, to see him ; it is not used for * to keep,' which is 
cum. Gleidh means * to find,' falb\) is gleidh e, go and find it, 
except in Gleidh mise or sinne ! Crion is commoner than beag 
for * little.' Eigh or cigh-mhonie is a peat-cutting sjjade. Figh- 
«adair fodair, is a spider in Glenlyon. Gabhunn is gossip, gabh- 
unnach, gossiping, as in Ist Timothy v. 13. Garraidh is both a 
garden and a wall, so that balla a' gharraidh and garraidh an lise 
mean the same thing, and are both in common use. Loiun, which 
with us means a stackyard, is a garden in Strathbraan. Rinn thu 
i6bairt dhe at Blair means you have made a muddle or a hash of 
it. Lad (mill lead) means loud and prolonged talk. A niarraidh 
is * middling,' in reply to enquiry about health, literally ' in quest,' 
ann iarraidh. A shower of rain is almost invariably called 
ruaig. Rudach means kindly, attentive, affectionate. Sgeimhle 
is swagger. Soisinn is quietness, stillness (good behaviour). 
Bi tarruinn means Be off with you ! away ! Ullag is a mouthful 
of dry oatmeal. Baileach nicans very, and is entirely distinct 
in usage from buileach ; tha e baileach math means it is very 
good ; ehJm'eil e buileach (ieis means it is not quite ready ; cf. 
Irish ballach tirim, quite dry. Luaidh air is nearly ; chan'eil e 
luaidh air deis, or air bhi dels. Very (hot, e.g,) may be expressed 
by baileach, borb, fuathasach, anabarrach, gailbheach, uamhasach, 
uamharraidh, etc., ate. De an dochas a ghabh thu a nis means 
what has come into your head now, w^hat is this you are going to 
do. Ma h-e dhuit, which alone may be used as a threat, 
expresses when followed by gu'n and a clause, an earnest hope. 
Ma h-e dha gu'n tig e is equal to God grant that he may come. 

Main Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. 43 

4th yOVEMBER, 1897. 

A largely attended meeting was held on this date, when Mr 
Alexander Mackenzie, of the Scottish Highlander," delivered 
the first paper for Session 1897-98, the subject being " Mairi 
Nighean Alastair, Rory Mor's Cup and Horn, and UnpubUshed 
Maxjleod Traditions." It was proposed and seconded, and 
unanimously agreed to, that the Society records its deep regret 
at the death, recently, of an old and enthusiastic member of the 
Society, Captain Macra Chisholm of Glasburn, and it was 
remitted to the Secretaries to draw up a minute of condolence, 
and forward copy of same to Mrs Chisholm. Mr Mackenzie's 
paper was as follows : — 


I have been anxious for some time to correct certain fallsicies 
which have always prevailed in connection with the life of this 
famous Gaelic poetess, Mary Macleod, and which have unfor- 
tunately been perpetuated by my relative, John Mackenzie, in 
his sketch of her in " The Beauties of GaeHc Poetry. ' The 
compiler of " Sar Obair nam Bard " seems to have taken it for 
granted that the Sir Norman Macleod — ' Sir Tormoid Mac- 
Leoid " — ^to whom the distinguished poetess composed most of 
her songs was the Chief of Macleod. But that was not so. 
There never was a Chief of the Macleods of Dunvegan and 
Harris named Sir Norman. The only knight among them was 
the famous Rory Mor, Sir Roderick Macleod, who ruled from 
1590 to 1626. He had, however, two younger sons, who were 
knighted by Charles II. for their services in 1651 at the battle 
of Worcester. These were Sir Roderick Macleod of Tahsker, 
Tutor of Roderick Macleod, " the Witty „" and Sir Norman Mac- 
leod of Bemera; and it was to the last-named, and to his sou, 
John of ContTillich, that Mary Macleod composed the songs that 
raised the ire of her young Chief, who, in a fit of jealousy for so 
doing, banished her to the. island of Mull. We can all under- 
stand how this might have happened, but no one who knows 
the frailties of human nature can understand why the Chief of 
a great clan should have banished the distinguished family 
poetess for singing his own praises, as has hitherto been said. 

John Mackenzie says that " An Talla 'm bu ghnath le Mac- 

44 Gaelic Society of Inuerneaa. 

Leoid" was oomposed on the Laird being sick and dying, who 
playfully asked Mary what kind of a lament she would make for 
him. " Flattered/' he says, " by such a question, she replied 
that it would certainly be a very mournful one. * Come nearer 
me,' said the aged and infirm Chief, ' and let me hear part of 
it.' Mary, it is said, readily complied, and sung, extempore, 
that celebrated poem." The subject of this lament, composed 
during his life, was tmdoubtedly Sir Norman Macleod of Ber- 
nera, for in the sixth verse the poetess addressed him directly as 

" Sir Tormoid nam bratach. 
Fear do dhealbh-sa bu tearc e. 
Gun sgeilm a chuir asad no bosd." 

Her song, " Do dh' Iain Mac Shir Tormoid MacLebid," was 
composed to the son of this Sir Norman of Bemera, for she 
describes him as " A mhic ud Shir Tormoid." This was on the 
occasion of his presenting her with a snuff-mull. 

It was during her banishment in Miill that she composed 
" 'S mi 'm shuidhe air an Tulaich," or " Luinneag Mhio-Leoid," 
not, as John Mackenzie woiild imply, to the young Chief of 
Macleod, but to her favourite, Sir Norman of Bernera. After 
lamenting her own exile in Mull, in sight of Jura and Sgarba, 
she says — 

" Beir mo shoiridh do 'n dtithaich, 
Tha fo dhubhar nan garbh-bheann, 
Gu Sir Tormoid ur, allail, 
Fhuair ceannas air airmailt 
'S gun caint' anns gach fearann 
Gum b' airidh fear t' ainm air." 

And again, in the same poem — 

" A mhic an fhir chliuitich * 
A bha gu fiughantach ainmeil. 
Thug barrachd an gliocas, 
Air gach Ridir bha 'n Albuinn ; 
Ann an cogadh 'san sio-chaint, 
'S am dioladh an airgiod. 

" 'S beag an t' ioghnadh do mhao-sa, 
Bhidh gu beachdail, mor, meanmnach, 
Bhidh gu fiughant, fial, farsuinn, 

* Sir Rory Mor. 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. 45 

O'n a ghlac sibb. mar shealbh e ; 

Clann Ruairidb nam bratach, 

'Se mo chreacb-sa na dh' fhalbb dbiu. 

" Acb an aon fhear a db' fbuiricb, f 
Nir cbluinneam sgeul marbb ort." 

In " Fuaim an t' Saimb " sbe again directly addrefssee the 
subject of ber praises as " Sir Tormoid mo run " — 

" Beir an t' soraidb so nam, 
Gu talla nan cuacb, 
Far am biodb tatbaicb nan tniagb daimbeil. 

" Tbun an taigbe nacb gann, 
Fo 'n leathad ud tball, 
Far 'm bbeil aigbear a's ceann mo mbanrain. 

" Sir Tormoid mo run, 
Ollagbaireacb tbu, 
Foirmeil o tbus t' abbaist. 

" A tbasgaidb 'sa cbiall, 
'Se bu cbleacbdadb dbut riamb, 
Teacb farsninn 'se fial failteacb." 

As if to leave no doubt wbatever regarding tbe subject of 
tbis poem, its autbor, speaking of Sir Norman's second wife, 
says — 

" 'S trie a riaraicb tbu cuilm, 
Gun fbiabbras gun tuilg, 
Nigbean Oigbre Dbun-tuilm, slan duit." 

Tbe lady was, as bere stated, tbe daugbter of Sir James 
Maodonald, IX. of Sleat, wbo tben resided witb bis fatber, Sir 
Donald, at Duntulm, ber father being, when Sir Norman married 
ber, beir-apparent of Duntiilm and Sleat. 

John Mackenzie says that on tbis song, " Luinneag Mbic- 
Leoid," coming to Macleod of Dunvegan's ears, be sent a boat 
for tbe poetess, giving orders to tbe crew not to take ber on 
board unless she would promise to compose no more songs on 
ber return to Skye. " Mary readily agreed to this condition of 
release, and returned with tbe boat to Dunvegan Castle. Soon 

t The only one remaining of them — Sir Roderick's sons — being then Sir 
Norman of Bernera, very advanced in years. 

46 Gaelic SocietQ of Inverness. 

after this a son of the Laird's had been ill, and, on his recovery, 
Mary composed a song, which is rather an extraordinary com- 
position, and which, like its predecessors, drew on her devoted 
head the displeasure of her Chief, who remonstrated with her 
for again attempting song-making without his permission." 
Mary's reply was — " It is not a song ; it is only a ' Cronan' — 
that is, a hum or croon." 

This could not have been said by the Chi^ who banished 
her, for he died, as we shall presently see, before she returned, 
but was said in jest by his brother and successor, who brought 
her back, and to whose second son, Norman, she composed her 
famous " Cronan," on his recovery from a serious illness. 

It is manifest that none of the poems in which Norman 
Macleod of Bemera is described as " Sir Norman" could have 
been composed before 1660, which was the year in which the 
honour of knighthood was conferred upon him by Charles II. 
after the Restoration. It is equally manifest that she was not 
banished to the island of Mull for composing them by John 
Macleod, XV. of Macleod, Sir Norman's eldest brother, who 
died in September, 1649. She must have been exiled by John's 
son, Roderick, XVI. of Macleod, who was a minor at the date 
of his father's death.. This Chief was served heir in special to 
his father on the 22nd of November, 1655, and on the 24th of 
February in the following year he was infeft in aU the family 
estates, except Glenelg, in which he was infeft on the 19th of 
October, 1657. He died in January, 1664, without surviving 
male issue, when Mary, still in banishment in Mull, composed 
to him her well-known elegy, " Cumha do Mhac-Lebid," which 
he seems to have ill-deserved at her hands. From this poem it 
is clear that Roderick died away from his native land, and that 
he had a son and daughter, the first of whom, at least, pre- 
deceased him. Mary says in her exile — 

" Ge goirt leam an naigheachd 
Tha mi faighinn air Ruairidh, 
Gun a chorp bhi 'san dtithaich, 
Anns an tuama Du dual da." 

And again, referring to the same Roderick and his son Norman, 
also deceased, she says — 

" Ach a Ruairidh mhic Iain, 
'S goirt leam fhaighinn an sgeul-s ort, 
'Se mo chreach-sa mac t-athar 
Bhi na laidhe gun eiridh. 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. 47 

Agus Tormoid a mhac-sa 
A thasgaidh mo cheile ! 
Gixr e aobhar mo ghearain, 
Gun do chailleadh le cheil' iad." 

Roderick's daughter married Stewart of Appin, and her 
husband, on Macleod's death without male issue, claimed the 
Macleod estates. In her " Cimiha," Mary resents this claim, in 
a burst of patriotic fervour, in the following stanzas : — 

" Mhic Iain Stiubhairt na h-Apunn, 
Ged a's gasd an duin' 6g thu, 
Ged tha Stiiibhairtich beachdail, 
'S iad tapaidh n' am foimeart ; 
Na gabh-sa meanmnadh, no aiteas. 
As an staid ud nach coir dhut, 
Cha toir thu i dh' aindeoin, 
'S cha 'n fhaigh thu le deoin i. 

" Cuim an tigeadh fear coigreach, 
A thagradh ar n' oighreachd; 
Ged nach 'eil e ro dhearbhta. 
Gut searbh e ri eisdeachd ; 
Ged tha sinn air ar creachadh 
Mu chloinn mhic an fhir fheihdh, 
Sliochd Ruairidh Mhoir allail, 
'S gur soiridh iad fhein oirr." 

It is also quite certain that she composed " Cumha Mhic 
Leoid," which must not be confounded with " Cimiha do Mhac 
Leoid," already referred to, to Sir Norman of Bemera after his 
death, and almost certainly after her return from Mull. She 
speaks as if actually seeing him dead — 

" An treas la de 'n Mhart, 
Dh' fhalbh m' aighear gu brath, 
Bi sud saighead mo chraidh, 
Bhi 'g amharc do bhais, 
A ghntiis fhlathasach aillt' ; 
A dheagh mhic rathail. 
An armuinn euchdaich." 

48 6ae/ic Society of Inuerness. 

She then names him as Sir Roderick's son — 
'' Mac Ruairidh reaehdmhor, 
Uaibhreach, bheachdail, 
Bu bhuaidh leatsa, 
Dualchas farsuinn, 
Snuadh-ghlaine pearsa, 

Cruadail a's smaehd gyxn eucoir." 

And she correctly describes his widow as — 

" Inghinn Sheumais nan crun,* 
Bean cheiUidh ghlan ur, 
Thug a ceud ghradh ga run, 
'^ . Bu mhor a h-aobhar ri sunnd, 

'Nuair a shealladh i 'n gnuis a ceile." 

Roderick Macleod, XV. of Macleod, who, as already stated, 
died without surviving male issue, in January, 1664, was suc- 
ceeded by his brother, *' Iain Breao'' Macleod, a model Highland 
Chief, who kept a bard, harper, piper, and fool at Dunvegan 
Oastle, and whose bard was undoubtedly the famous " Mairi 
Nighean Alastair Ruaidh," whom he had recalled from her 
banishment in Mull after, and probably to some extent on 
account of, her patriotic stanzas hurled against the Stewarts of 
Appin and their claim, and in favour of his own succession as 
heir male to the family estates of Dunvegan and Harris. 

John Mackenzie says that Mary was bom as early as 1569, 
but this is impossible from what is known of her later history. 
In one of her compositions she says that she nursed five Chiefs 
of the Macleods and two Lairds of Applecross. She could not 
possibly, even had she been bom in 1569, have nursed Sir 
Roderick Macleod, who succeeded, advanced in years, in 1590, 
but she did nurse his son John, his grandsons Roderick and 
John " Breac," the latter of whom died in 1693 — ^the same year 
as herself, at the great age of 105 — and John's two sons, Roderick 
and Norman, who succeeded each other as Chiefs of the clan. 

I referred briefly to this subject under " The Macleods of 
Bemera" in my *' History of the Macleods," published in 1889, 
pp. 244-45, in the following terms: — " It was to this member of 
the clan [Sir Norman of Bemera] that the famous family 
poetess, ' Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh,' composed all her 
Macleod poems given in Mackenzie's ' Beauties of Gaelic Poetry,* 
except her ' Cumha do Mhac Lebid,' composed to Roderick, 

* Daughter of Sir James Macdonald of Sleat and Duntulin. 

Main Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. 49 

XV. of Macleod, grandson of Sir Rory Mor ; her ' Marbhraim 
do dh' Iain Garbh Mac Gillechallum Rarsaidh ; ' ' An Cronan ; ' 
and her ' Oran do dh' Iain Mac Shir Tormoid Mhic Leoid/ 
John of Contiillich, Sir Norman's eldest son. It is quite clear 
from internal evidence that her ' Fnaim an t' Saimh/ ' An 
Talla 'm bu ghnath le Mac Leoid/ * Chimha Mhic Leoid/ and 
*Luinneag Mhic Leoid/ were all composed to her favourite 
hero and benefactor, Sir Norman Macleod of Bemera. And 
this will fully account for what has hitherto been a puzzle — the 
banishment of the celebrated poetess by her Chief to the Island 
of Mull for composing, it Gas always hitherto been erroneously 
said, such splendid Gaelic poems in his own praises. The real 
reason for Mary's banisliment was, on the contrary, the jeal- 
ousy and annoyance of her Cnief because nearly all her eulogies 
and best poems were composed in praise, not of himself, but of 
his relative. Sir Norman of Bernera, and that gentleman's 
eldest son, John of ContuUich. * There never was,' it was 
added, ' a Chief of the Macleods called Sir Norman, and in the 
five poems mentioned, ' Sir Tormoid,' ' The Warrior Son of 
Kory Mor,' and ' The Husband of Sir James Macdonald's 
Daughter' — all three designations referring to one and the same 
person — is in each case directly addressed as the subject of the 

I venture to think that all this has been fully established on 
the present occasion from the poems themselves, and that I may 
now leave the subject, and pass on to 


Some years ago I received very interesting traditions 
regarding Rory Mor's Cup and its origin, from Donald Grant 
Macleod, LL.D., of the family of Glendale, and lineal descendant 
of the Macleods of Luskintyre, for many years, and still, judge 
of Moulmain, Burmah, too late for use in my " History of the 
Macleods," published in 1889. They were collected and taken 
down by his distinguished uncle, Dr Bannatyne WiUiam Mac- 
leod, Inspector-General of Army Hospitals in Bengal, who suc- 
ceeded in gathering together a considerable amount of material, 
with the intention, never carried out, however, of writing a 
history of the Clan Macleod. I give the traditions as they 
reached me. They are as follows : — 

In the time of Malcolm, the third Chief of Macleod, the 
lands of Luskintyre were possessed by two brothers, who were 

4 ns<i 

50 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

at mortal feud with each other. Their cattle were herded in 
common, under the charge of a man named Lurran " Cas- 
luineach/' or swift-footed, whose mother had nursed one of the 
above brothers, and was considered a witch, and resided with 
her son in a small cottage near her foster-son's house. Lurran 
folded the cows every night in Buaile Rossinish, where, during 
the harvest season, it was customary to have them watched. 
On the first night of their being folded there for the season it 
was Lurran's turn to watch, and as the place was considered the 
resort of fairies,Lurran'9 mother took the precaution to charm 
all her foster son's cows, as well as her son LuiTan, on whom she 
uttered a spell, proof even against the Devil himself. About 
midnight Lurran saw the '' Bruthach," or mound, opea, and an 
immense concourse of people issue from it ; they proceeded 
towards the fold, where they began to converse and examine the 
cattle. They found the cows of one brother all channed, but 
those of the other were not so fortunate. They immediately 
killed two of the best and fattest of the cattle, and carried away 
the carcases, leaving in their places the hides filled with froth 
and slime, resembling bad carrion. In the morning the two 
cows were found dead, conjectured to have been killed by 
hghtning, but the same thing occurred for several nights, and 
always the cows of the same brother, but none of these who 
watched had the supernatural power of seeing the fairies except 
Lurran, who kept the matter a secret from all but his mother. 
When it came again to his turn to watch the fold, the fairies 
came as usual, killed the cattle, and carried them off,, but Lurran 
joined the crowd, and entered the " Bruthach" amonst them 
unobserved. There he saw a spacious hall, in which was pre- 
pared a feast, of which aU partook, and Lurran took care to seat 
himself next to the door. After the feast, wine was handed 
roimd in a beautifiil silver cup, out of which each drank, and 
then handed it to his neighbour. At last it came to Lurran's 
turn, who, having hastily thrown down the contents, made a 
rush for the door and escaped, carrying the cup with him, 
before the company were aware what he was doing. 

He was, however, hotly pursued, and narrowly escaped by 
entering his mother's hut, which she immediately charmed, so 
as to prevent the ingress of any good or evil spirits. 

Lurran was, however, shortly afterwards foimd dead on the 
mountains, having been, it is supposed, killed by the fairies for 
stealing the cup. The cup was given by the mother to Iier 
" dalt," or foster-son, who was named Neil " Glun-Dubh," and 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. 51 

who was soon after murdered by his brother, who seized the 
•cup as well as all the rest of his property. 

Malcolm Macleod, the third Chief, hearing of this outrage, 
summoned the brother to Rodel, where he was first emascu- 
lated and then put to death, and the cup was taken by the 
Chief to Dimvegan, where it has remained ever since. 

Another tradition says that the son of one of the above- 
mejitioned brothers having been insulted by Magnus, fifth son 
of Malcolm Macleod, the Chief rose hurriedly from an enter- 
tainment to which he had been invited at the Chief's castle at 
Rodel, muttwing revenge. Magnus Macleod heard him, and, 
springing to the door, opposed his exit, when the offended 
vassal drew his dirk and pierced to the heart the Chief's son, 
who expired on the spot. A rush was made by the company 
to seize the murderer, who, however, gained the summit of a 
rock, still pointed out, and from thence shot the twelve arrows 
which his quiver contained, and with each shot laid one of 
MacTeod's followers prostrate. The unfortunate rebel was then 
seized and flayed alive; all his kindred were outlawed or slain, 
and their property was confiscated to the Chief, who, it is said, 
then took this cup to Dunvegan, where it has since remained. 

An old man who was half a savage, whose garb was made 
up of sheep-skins, who was called " Iain Dubh nam Beann, 
and died about 1765, was considered the last of this family. 
He used to recite the names of all his ancestors to the very man 
who killed the third Chief's son. 

His family belonged to the Clan Mhic Vurchie, who pos- 
sessed part of Harris, and the place where their house stood at 
Luskintyre was well known. Some years ago, after a severe 
storm, the sand drift, which had for ages concealed them from 
view, was blown away and exposed the walls, which were still 
quite entire, and also a number of earthen utensils then made 
use of by the islanders. The sons of William Macleod, last of 
Luskintyre [my informant's great-grandfather], who were then 
boys, while playing among these ruins, found a brass sword, a 
steel dirk of beautiful workmanship, and a brooch used for 
fastening the shoulder plaid. No doubt the articles were left 
by the last occupiers of the dwelling in the hurry of their 
flight, or when overtaken by those who were sent to extirpate 
the race and seize their property after the death of the Chief's 
:son as above stated. 

52 Gaelic Society of Inverness 


Sir Walter Scott, who gives a very detailed description of 
the famous cup in one of his notes to the " Lords of the Isles," 
says that a Latin inscription which is upon it may run thus : — 

''^Ufo Johannis Mich Magni principis de Hr Manae Vich 
Liahia Magryneil et sperat Domino Jhesu dari clementiam 
illorum opera. Fecit Anno Domini 993, Onili Oim." 

Which, Sir Walter continues, may read in English — 

" Ufo, the son of John, the son of Mamus, Prince of Man, 
the grandson of Liahia Mac Gryneil, trusts in the Lord Jesus 
that their works will obtain mercy. Oneil Oimi made this in 
the year of God nine himdred and ninety-three." 

This is not a tradition, but a. misreading. The inscription 
on the cup is in two divisions or compartments, round the rim, 
and the mistake that Sir Walter Scotti and others made was to 
read it across as if it Were written right round it, or in a single 
column. This, of coiu^e made nonsense of the inscription, and 
added five hundred years to the age of the cup. The late Dr 
W. F. Skene, in a foot-note, " Celtic Scotland," vol. iii., p. 356, 
says that the correct reading, in two divisions, is as follows: — 

" Katharina NigryneiU uxor Johannis Meguigir principis de 
Fermanac me fieri fecit Anno Domini 1493. Ocuh omnium in 
te sj>erant Domine et tu das escam illorum in tempore oppor- 

That is— 

" Katharine MacRannal, wife of John Macguire, Lord of 
Fermanagh, caused me to be made in the year of our Lord 1493. 
The eyes of all hope in Thee, O Lord, and Thou givest them 
food in due season." 

Sir Walter Scott's description of the cup and its ornamenta- 
tion may be given. He says, in the note already quoted : — 

" This very curious piece of antiquity is nine inches and 
three-quarters in inside depth, and ten and a half in height on 
the outside, the extreme measure over the lips being four inches 
and a half. The cup is divided into two parts by a wrought 
ledge, beautifully ornamented, about three-fourths of an inch in 
breadth. Beneath this ledge the shape of the cup is rounded 


Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh, '53 

off, and tenninates in a flat circle, like that of a tea-cup ; four 
short feet support the whole. Above the projecting ledge the 
shape of the cup is nearly square, projecting outward at the 
brim. The cup is made of wood (oak to all appearance), but 
most curiously wrought and embossed with silver work, which 
projects from the vessel. There are a number of regular pro- 
jecting sockets, which appear to have been set with stones; two 
or three of them still hold pieces of coral, the rest are empty. 
At the four comers of the projecting ledge, or cornice, are four 
sockets, much larger, probably for pebbles or precious stoned 
The workmanship of the silver is extremely elegant, and appears 
to have been highly gilded. The ledge, brim, and legs of the 
cup are of silver." 


Care must be taken not to confoimd Rory Mors Cup with 
Rory Mor's Horn. The latter is devoid of any ornamentation, 
except a broad rim of silver fixed round its edge, neatly carved 
and chased. It is said that each Chief, as he came of age, had 
to drink off its full contents in one draught in proof of his 
manhood. Referring to it in one of his songs. Bums says — 

" I'll conjure the ghost of the great Rory Mor, 
And bumper his horn to him twenty times o'er.' 

And Johnson, in his *' Toiu* to the Hebrides," says — 

" Here we saw some traces of former manners, and heard 
some standing traditions. In the house is kept an ox's horn, 
hollowed so as to hold perhaps two quarts, which the heir of 
Macleod was expected to swallow at one draught, as a test of his 
manhood, before he was permitted to bear arms, or coilld claim 
a seat among the men." 

Dr Johnson, like others who have written on the same 
subject, is wrong regarding the size of the horn. Meeting Mac- 
leod of Macleod while he was attending the meeting of the 
Invernfiss-shire County Council a fortnight ago, I asked him to 
oblige me by testing the capacity of the famous horn, and letting 
me know what it was exactly. He courteously undertook to do 
so, and on his return to Dimvegan a few days later, he promptly 
implemented his promise and wrote me a letter, in the course of 
which he says : — " Rory Mor's horn contains an imperial quart 
comfortably, i.e., without being quite up to the brim." 

54 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


In the same communication, he sent me a copy of a most 
interesting document, which he found recently while looking 
through some of the Macleod family papers. It is the receipt 
for the fimeral expenses, and the board during the last nine 
months of her life, of the unfortunate Lady Grange. An 
accurate account of her abduction, some of the persons concerned 
in it, and her after experiences at Castle Tioram, and in the 
islands of Heisker, lona, and Skye, appear in my histories of the 
Macleods and of the !b'rasers, in the former of which it is shown 
that she died at Idrigill, in Watemish, Isle of Skye, in May, 
1745, and was secretly buried at Trumpan, while a sham fimeral 
was carried through, with great formahty, in the Churchyard of 
Ihurinish in the same parish. The foUowinsf is an exact copy 
of the acooimt sent me by Macleod, who points out that the 
names " Macleod ' and " Macneill" are each spelt in two different 
ways : — 

*• Account curt, the Honble. Norman MacLeod and Rory MacNiell of 

DehU Max;Lcod. 

To one particular account 

of expenses in Lady 

Grange's in^«rment, 

etc £30 1.*) 05 

Do., her board for nine 

months is 22 10 00 

£53 5 05 


By Cash f r. m M 'Leod per 

receipt £10 00 00 

By d(». from VVm. Tolme 
upon M.u Leod's* ac- 
count 21 16 03 

By Macleod *B order upon 

Bay forth'sbnlance bring 21 09 02 

£53 or. 05 

" Uun vegan 16th August, 1745, 
" The above Account is fitted and cleared 'twixt us, e?r»»r« and omissions 
excepted, by 

(Signed) " Rouy McNbill." 


Leod, progenitor of the Macleods, is said to have had two 
other sons besides Tormoid and Torquil mentioned in the 
History, viz. : — 3, Ian, or John, who followed Bruce to Ireland, 
where he settled; for we find that Maurice, second Lord Fitz- 
maurioe, married Mary, daughter of Sir John Macleod of Galr 
way, Chief of his name in those parts, where his kindred were 
called MoElligath, quartered the arms of Macleod, and of whom 

Ja/W Nighean Alastair Huaidh, 55 

the present Marqiiis of . Lansdowne is the representative. 4, 
Olaus, or Olaf , who is said to have had a son Lewis, reputed to 
have been the founder of the Clan Mhio Lewis, or Fullarton. 

Tormoid, second Chief of Macleod, was a great soldier, and 
is said to have fought at Bannockbum. He was Sheriff of Skye, 
and was remarkable for a fine beard, which was so long that he 
could tuck it into his girdle. He married Marjorie, daughter of 
John Bisset of Glenelg, by whom he is said to have had, besides 
Malcolm, his heir, 2, Leod, who is said to have gone to Ireland, 
and there d. s. p. ; and 3, Godfrey, who became a monk, and 
died abroad. Malcolm, the third Chi^, although said by some 
to have married the daughter of Fraser, Lord Lovat, is believed 
to have married Christian, the divorced wife of Hugh Fraser of 
Lovat, and daughter of Sir Neil Campbell of Lochow, ancestor 
of the Duke of Argyll. He was a man of great courage and 
physical strength, and the story goes that while returning from 
a stolen int^-rview with the yoimg and beautiful wife of the 
Chief of the Frasers, who held the half- of Glenelg, he encoun- 
tered and killed a wild bull which infested the woods of Glenelg, 
and was a terror to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. 
Malcolm, when he engaged the animal, was only armed with his 
dirk, but seizing the bull by its horns, he by sheer strength 
threw it, and then despatched it with his weapon. From this 
encounter the buU's head is said to have become the crest of the 
Macleods, with the motto, " Hold Fast." In the struggle one of 
the bull's horns was broken off ; this Malcolm carried home as a 
trophy of his prowess, and it is said to be the same which was 
converted into the drinking horn now known as Sir Rory M5r's 

Tlie lady with whom Malcolm was in love was so pleased 
with his valour that she forsook her husband for her lover, 
subsequently married him, and bore him five sons, viz. : — 1, 
John, who became the fourth Chief; 2, Tormoid, mentioned in 
the History as the first Macleod of Bemera, from whom the 
island was taken by Sir Rory Mor* Macleod, on account of a 
dreadful feud in the family, and given to Sir Norman as his 
patrimony ; 3, Murdo, mentioned in the History as the ancestor 
of the Macleods of Gesto, of whom the head was called Mac 
Mhic Thormoid, who had a son called Tormoid Caol Macleod, 
who killed Alastair Carrach Macdonald ; 4, Malcolm Og, who is 
said to have settled in Argyll, the ootmtry of his mother, who, 
as already stated, was a Campbell, and to have become the 
ancestor of the MacCalliuns or Malcolms; 5, Magnus, of whose 


56 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

death see account already given of the ancient cup. The first 
feuds in which the Madeods were engaged were with the 
Frasers, owing to the Uason of Fraser's wife with their Chief, 
Malcohn. These feuds continued for several generations with 
great fury, but were finally ended by a compact, whereby the 
Macleods received the remainder of Glenelg as a marriage 
portion with the daughter of Fraser of Lovat. 

Shortly after Malcolm Macleod had carried off the wife of 
Fraser of Glenelg, the Clan Fraser resolved on revenge, and to 
effect this a large force was collected in Glenelg, who, after com- 
mitting every outrage on the Macleods of that barony, pro- 
ceeded to Skye, where they met with no resistance until they 
reached the water of Drynoch, where the Macleods had hastily 
collected, imder the command of Iain Ciar, a bastard brother of 
Macleod of Macleod, who, as well as most other persons of note 
on his side, was slain, and the remainder were put to flight. 

Malcolm Macleod himself was at the time at Pabbay, in 
Harris, whither a swift-sailing galley was despatched with the 
sad tidings; he immediately collected all the forces available, 
and, landing in Trotemess, was joined there by several others 
of his vassals. The Frasers in the meantime had laid waste 
Minginish and Bracadale, carrying off the cattle and spoil of the 

Meanwhile a foster brother of Malcolm (the first of that 
name who is mentioned, viz., William Mackaskill) had been left 
Seneschal of Dunve^an, collected a select body of men, amongst 
whom were his six yoimger brothers, and they resolved to 
rescue the spoil of the Macleods from the Frasers, or perish in 
the attempt. They took up their position in a. wood above 
Broadford, on the direct road through which the Frasers had to 
pass. The Frasers, completely off their guard, were suddenly 
attacked, and their leader being slain, were thrown into inex- 
tricable confusion. The greater portion of them were killed, 
and the whole of the booty was recovered by Mackaskill, who 
was joined by his Chief just as the fight was finished. Malcolm 
Macleod died in 1375, at Stornoway, while visiting the Chief of 

The MackaskiUs were for several generations the Lieutenants 
of the Macleods, both by sea and land, and held large posses- 
sions from the Chiefs as commanders of their galleys or birlinns, 
and one of them always accompanied the Chief as his henchman, 
clad in full armour. ^ 

John Macleod, commonly called " Iain Ciar," succeeded his 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. 57 

father as fourth Chief. He received a charter from King 
Robert II. of Trotemess and all his other lands in Skye. The 
Macleods of Lewis had at this time possessed themselves of the 
east side of Trotemess, which was exchanged by Iain Ciar for 
Vatemish, a part of Skye, which continued in the possession of 
the Macleods of Lewis until the ruin of that family in the reign 
of James VI. 

Iain Ciar is said to have been a most tyrannical and blood- 
thirsty despot, equally feared and hated by all his vassals, and 
even by the members of his own family. His wife appears to 
have been as cruel as her husband, for tradition says that she 
ordered two of her daughters to be buried alive in a dungeon in 
the Castle of Dunvegan, for having attempted to escape from 
her tyranny with two lovers of the na-me of Macqueen, who then 
possessed Raasay under the Abbots of lona. The two brothers 
were seized, and after being emasculated were flogged to death, 
and their bodies were thrown into the sea. 

John Macleod, fourth Chief, who married a daughter of 
O'Neil, had, besides four daughters, 1, Malcolm, who appears to 
have inherited much of the bad qualities of both his parents. 
His career was, however, short, for he was slain by the brother 
of his intended bride in a quarrel at a feast in Lewis, where he 
had gone to espouse the daughter of his kinsman, Macleod of 
Lewis. This fact gave rise to various feuds, which lasted for a 
long time, between the two gfreat families of Macleod. 

John Ciar once went to Harris to be present at a deer hunt, 
and, according to the usage of those times, was accompanied by 
the chief man of his clan. The " frith," or chase, of Hanis had 
formerly belonged to, and was still partly held by, the Clan 
Mhic Ceathach, or " Children of the Mist," who paid tribute to 
Macleod, and the son of their Chief accompanied Macleod to the 
hunt. When the deer were collected in the valley, within view 
of the Chief, he missed a favourite white hart, which he valued 
highly from its singularity of colour, and declared he would be 
amply revenged upon its destroyer, at the same time offering a 
large reward to any one who would discover the offender. An 
enemy of Mac Ceathach pointed to the young man, who was 
immediately seized by order of the Chief, and at once put to 
death in a cruel and barbarous manner, by having the antler of 
a large stag forced into his bowels. The sport, however, con- 
tinued, and ended as usual, alter which Macleod returned to 
Kodel, with the view of sailing to Dunvegan, where he then 
usually resided. 

58 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

The galleys were ready to sail, the wind was favourable, and 
all was prepared, when the Chief, accompanied by his wife and 
followers moved from his dwelling at Bodel to the place of 
embarkation. As he was stepping into his ship, an arrow 
whiased through the air, pierced his side, and at the same time 
the war cry of the Mac Ceathachs annoimced their approach. 
The Macleods were wholly off their guard, but made a stand 
round their fallen Chief, and by the heroic valour of William, 
the Chief's second son, the ' Children of the Mist" were driven 
to the mountains, not, however, before several of the principal 
men of the Macleods had been slain. Lady Macleod had in the 
meantime gained one of the galleys, when her women, in their 
alarm, cut the cables and let the vessel drift out to sea. A 
storm followed, in which she, and two of the natural daughters 
of the Chief, who had accompanied her, perished, being driven 
on to some rocks at Idrigill, on the west of Skye, which have 
ever since been called Macleod's Wife and Maidens. The 
largest of these rocks is over 200 feet high, and is called " Nic 
Cleosgeir Mor;" the others are about 100 feet high. The Chief 
was carried to the Monastery of Kodel, where he died the same 
evening, and his body was taken to lona for burial. His eldest 
daughter married Lachlan Maclean of Duart. His second 
married Cameron of Lochiel. 

Macdonald, Lord of the Isles, laid claim to a part of Mac- 
leod's lands in Skye, as a marriage portion of his wife, Margaret 
Leshe, but their claim William Macleod by no means acknow- 
ledged; so Macdonald invaded his territory. Tlie Macdonalds 
were commanded by Alastair Carrach (brother of the Lord of 
the Isles), who was slain in this conflict by Tormoid Caol Mac- 
leod, the cousin of William, fifth Chief (being the son of Murdo 
Macleod, the Chiefs uncle). Very few of the Macdonalds 
escaped, as their galleys were taken in Loch Eynort by Mac- 
kaskill, who put every soul on board to death, and carried their 
heads to Dimvegan. 

William, the fifth Chief of Macleod, was much beloved by 
his clan for his valour and for his sense of justice; he was 
remarkably handsome, of talents and information far beyond his 
age, and made a great figure among his cotmtrymen. 

He married Janet, daughter of Ogilvie (?), and had issue — 
1, John, his heir; 2, Tormoid, who had a son — 1, William, from 
whom are descended the sept called Clann Mac Mhic XJilleam, 
of whom were the family of Borline, a member of which was 
Captain William Macleod, of the 73rd Regiment, who died at 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. o^ 

Tranguebar, and whose son was the late General William Com- 
pemo Macleod, and another member of which was General 
Norman Macleod, of the 1st (Royal Scots) Regiment, who was 
lost in the wreck of a steamer in 1840, and who was first cousin 
of Captain WiUiam Macleod. 2, Alexander, whose daughter 
was the famous poetess, " Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh," and 
of whom were descended the sept called Clann Mac Mhic 
Alastair Ruaidh, of whom, were the family of BaUimore and of 
St Kilda, a member of which was Dr John Macleod, who was 
Inspector-General of Army Hospitals in Madras, and of which 
several members settled in America, while many were to be 
foimd in Waternish. Wilham Macleod died suddenly at the 
Castle of Camus, in Sleat, in 1405, and was buried in lona. 

John Macleod, the sixth Chief, was known to the islanders 
by the name of Iain Borb (fierce). He was scarcely ten years 
old when his father died, and as a clan in those days could not 
exist without a Chief being able to lead them to battle, a Regent 
for the minority was always chosen by the clan, and called 
" Taoitear," or guardian. This office was conferred on John 
Macleod (a cousin of the Chief), who, from his imbecility and 
worthlessness, got the name of '' Mi-Shealbhach," or " the Un- 
lucky." He held the office of " Taoitear," or guardian, for six 
years, and during that period the Macleods of Skye and Harris 
met with many disasters, and were much reduced. 

The election of John " Mi-Shealbhach " as guardian was 
highly displeasing to many of the clan, who wished to confer the 
dignity on Tormoid Caol, who slew Alastair Carrach Macdonald 
at the battle of SUgachan. Tormoid Caol seized the Macleods 
portion of Glenelg, and disobeyed the Regent. The Lord of the 
Isles had given a grant of the lands of Uist, Harris, and a great 
part of Skye to his eldest son, Reginald, by the daughter of Mac- 
Ruarie of GarmOran, who was set aside to make way for Donald, 
his eldest son by Margaret Stewart, daughter of Robert III., 
King of Scotland, and it was in virtue of these grants that the 
Macdonalds sought to seize the property of the Macleods during 
the minority of the Chief. They landed in Sleat, and took pos- 
session, of the Castles of Dimskavaig and Camus, and drove out 
the Macleods. A great part of North Uist,,* which pertained 
to Harris, was wrested from the clan, and a battle was fought at 
Caolas Uist between the Macleods and Clan Donald, where the 
Macleods were totally defeated, their leader slain, and their 
birlinns taken. Iain Mi-Shealbhach shut himself up in the 
Castle of Pabbay, where he remained during the greater part of 
his Regency. 

60 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Torquil Macleod of the Lewis, then the most powerful of all 
the Chiefs in the Isle® next to Donald, Lord of the Isles, col- 
lected his clan and came to the relief of the widow of William 
Macleod, fifth Chief, who was besieged in the Castle of Dun- 
v^an by the Macdonalds. Torquil fought the Macdonalds at 
FeorHg, where he gained a complete victory over them, and after 
forcing the enemy to take to their boats, he carried off the 
widow of the late Chief of Macleod and her family to Lewis, 
where they remained until John Borb attained his sixteenth 
year, when he was installed, at Rodel, as Chief of his clan, when 
Torquil Macleod put his father's sword into his hand. 

The first act of John's Chiefship was to punish Iain Mi- 
Shealbhach, who was hanged to the yard-arm of a birlinn at 
Rodel. His property was confiscated, and his family banished 
for ever. Torquil Caol gave in his submission, and all tlie 
refractory chieftains made their peace with John Macleod. He 
then sailed with a large fleet of galleys to Isla, and by the inter- 
cession of his uncle, Maclean of Duart, made friends with 
Donald, Lord of the Isles, who, in order to secure the aid of the 
Macleods, obhged the Macdonalds to give up all the lands which 
had been seized from the Macleods during John's minority, with 
the exception of the part of Uist next to Harris, which was 
given to a bastard brother of the Lord of the Isles, who after- 
wards married the widow of Tor moid Caol KLacleod, a danghter 
of Maclean of Lochbuy. The island of St Kilda, which be- 
longed to that part of TJist, was, however, given up to Macleod, 
and remained afterwards an appanage of Harris. John Mac- 
leod was the first Chief who fought under the banners of 
Macdonald, Lord of the Isles, for he commanded all the 
Macleods, both Siol Tormoid and Siol Torquil, at the battle of 
Garrioch or Harlaw, but, it is said, refused to draw a sword 
unless he with his clan got the right of the line, which the Lord 
of the Isles yielded to him. In this engagement John Macleod 
behaved most gallantly, and received a severe wound in the 
forehead, which never healed, but used to burst out bleeding 
whenever he was excited by passion or violent exercise, and 
which was ultimately the cause of his death. 

In the time of John Borb the Macleods of Harris and Lewis 
joined Donald Balloch, cousin-german of Alexander, Lord of the 
Isles, when he fought against King James at Lochaber in 1431. 
They were commanded by Torquil Macleod of Lewis, as John 
Borb had sent his forces under his Lieutenant, Allan Mackaskill. 

John Borb generally resided at the Castle of Pabbay, which 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. 61 

he had enlarged and strengthened. He was still in the prime of 
life, and, being one of the best swordsmen of the day, he used 
to fence with some of his family for the purpose of pastime, as 
well as for keeping up his skill. His foster-brother, Somerled 
MacCombich, was his most usual antagonist, and was rather 
the better swordsman of the two. The Chief did not by any 
means like this superiority, and frequently became angry if the 
other showed more skill than himself. On one of these coci- 
sions Somerled did not yield as much as usual, when the Chief 
flew into a passion, and cut and thrust with the view of some- 
thing more serious than pastime. MacCombich could not yield 
with safety to himself, and would rather have died than injure 
his Chief and protector, so he threw himself on the Chief, who 
fell in the struggle, and was kept down by MacCombich, who 
called to some of the guards to rescue him. John's wound 
burst out, bleeding with such violence that it could not be 
stopped. Galleys were despatched for a leech, but before his 
arrival John had expired. This happened about 1442. 

William Macleod, one of the twin sons of John " Borb," who 
succeeded his father as seventh Chief, was called " Claidheamh 
Fada," or " Long-sword." In his time the men of the High- 
lands and Isles were much divided in opinion between the claims 
of John, Lord of the Isles, and his son Angus, but Wilham 
Macleod supported John, while the Macleods of Lewis espoused 
the other side. William was killed at the battle of the Bloody 
Bay, in 1480, and after his death the Macleods began to give^ 
way and fall into confusion, when, it is said, Callum Cleireach, 
Macleod's almoner, induced Murcha Breac, the keeper of the: 
Fairy Flag, to imfurl the sacred banner. The Lewis Macleods, 
at the sight of the emblem of their race, joined the Harris Mac- 
leods, who renewed the fight with redoubled fury, but it was 
then too late. A vast number of Macleods were slain in this 
engagement, and among them were the twelve heroes who stood 
round the sacred banner. Murcha Breac was mortally wounded 
in the side by a lance, and finding himself falling, he thrust the 
staff of the banner into the wound, and thus kept the flag 
flying until others came to protect it. Wilham was buried at 
lona, and was the last Chief of Macleods interred there, and 
Murcha Breac was placed in the same grave with his Chief, as 
the greatest honour that could be bestowed on his remains. 

Alexander Macleod, who was well known as "Alastair 
Crotach," or " Hump-backed," on the death of his father, was 
acknowledged by the clan as their Chief. He had already dis- 

02 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

tingfui^hed himself by his valour, and is said to have been learned 
for the age. During the time of the seventh Chief, a large party 
of Macdonalds landed at Ardiveg, in Skye, with the view of 
laying waste uie coimtry of the Macleods, aad were commanded 
by Eachainn MacDhomhnuill, son of the Chief of Clan Ranald. 
Wilham Macleod was absent from home, but his son, Alex- 
ander, hastily collected aix the men he could, and went to meet 
the Macdonalds, who had encamped close to their galleys. A 
fierce battle ensued, in which Alexander Macleod was wounded 
in the back by the stroke of the battle-axe wielded by Eacliainn 
MacDomhnuill, who had singled out the yoimg Chief for 
combat. Alexander fell, but drew his antagonist along with 
him, and slew him with his dirk, and carried off his head as a 
trophy of his prowess. The stroke, however, which he had 
himself received had severed the dorsal muscles, and as his 
wound was not properly attended to, it caused his back to bend, 
and hence he obtained the name '' Crotach." In this engage- 
ment the Macdonalds were completely routed, and lost the 
greater part oi their men and ten of their lymphads, or galleys. 
Heaps of their bones and skulls were until lately, and are 
perhaps still, to be seen on the field where the action took place. 
At another time, after Alastair Crotach had become Chief, 
the Macleods, both of Lewis and Harris, collected their forces 
with a view of invading the lands of the Macdonalds, but the 
latter, under the command of Donald Gruamach, landed in 
Skye with a force superior in numbers to any that the ^laclcods 
<x>uld collect, and laid waste Minginish, Bracadale, and Durinish 
to the very gates of Dun vegan. Alastair Crotach hastened from 
Harris, and landed at Glendale, where the Macdonalds met him. 
The Macleods drew up on the brow of a hill, with a river in 
front, which made it difficult lor the Macdonalds to attack them. 
There they remained for two days, imtil the arrival of a great 
body of the clan, imder the command of Donald Mor of Meidle, 
who was a bastard brother of Alastair Crotach. A fierce 
engagement ensued, in which the Macleods were sorely pressed. 
Donald Mor was slain, with several hundreds of the clan ; the 
rest were dispirited and wavering, when, it is said, the Wizard 
Flag was displayed in the midst of the Macleods by order of 
Alastair Crotach's mother, who was present. The combat was 
renewed with redoubled fury and immense slaughter on both 
sides. A party of the Macdonalds, under the command of Allan 
of Moidart, rushed into the midst of the Macleods, and cut off 
from the rest of the clan the Chief and the select band who 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. 63 

guarded the banner. At this moment Muracha or Murdo 
Mackaskill cut down Donald Gruamach, and, carrying liis head 
on a spear, ordered the pipers of the Macleods to play the Mac- 
donald's Lament. The soimd of the ill-omened music struck a 
panic into the Macdonalds, who gave way on all sides. Allan 
of Moidart did all he could to rally them, but in vain, and such 
was the slaughter, says the ' Seanachies," .that the ravens which 
stood on " Creggan na Fitheach" (as a rock on the field of battle 
was afterwards called) drank the blood and ate the flesh of the 
Macdonalds, who lay in heaps around, without descending from 
their elevation. Allan of Moidart engaged Msickaskill single- 
handed, and kiUed him, as well as his three brothers, and then 
retreated with the remnant of his followers to Loch Eynort, 
where their galleys awaited them. 

The most fierce and savage warfare was carried on by the 
clans against each other, and none more so than those between 
the Macleods and Macdonalds, especially of Moidart (the Clan 
Ranald). Every species of revolting cruelty was practised by 
both parties against the followers and friends of the other, nor 
was it possible for any of the vassals to meet without coming to 

On one occasion a large boat or galley was driven into Loch 
Stockinish, in Harris, and tiie crew of twenty-four men were 
received with apparent hospitality by one Alastair Dubh Mac- 
leod, who lived there. Whilst at supper, one of the men hap- 
pened to reveal their names to be Macdonald, and, as they were 
of the Clan Ransild, Alastair Dubh left the house unobserved, 
and set fire to their boat and let it drift out to sea. He then 
roused out of their beds six other men who Uved near him, and 
returning with them to his house, he told the Macdonalds to 
depart, for, as a vassal of Macleod, he could not harbour them. 
They rose to depart, but the door was so low and narrow that 
only one could pass out at a time, and Alastair Dubh's men, 
who were stationed on each side of the door outside, despatched 
with their battle-axes each Macdonald as he left the house. 
Their heads were cut off, the whole strung on to one rope, and 
thus carried to Donald Breac Macleod, who was Steward of 
Harris for Alastair Crotach, and their bodies were thrown under 
a rock, where their bones long remained exposed to view. 
Alastair Dubh got the name of " Alastair Dubh nan Ceann" 
from this barbarous act. Several of his descendants were to be 
foimd in Lewis and Harris. 

This act was shortly afterwards retaliated by the Mac- 
donalds, who seized a birHnn belonging to Alastair Crotach^ in 


64: Gaelic Society at Inuerness, 

which were a cousin of the Chief, called Donald Glas, together 
with 36 of his men, and they were taken to Ardvnllin, in South 
Uist, where Donald Glas was put in irons, with a heavy weight 
attached to a chain round his neck, and was so detained for six 
years, whereby he was disabled for ever after; the whole of his 
crew were starved to death in a dungeon, where, it is said, they 
actually ate one another, casting lots so long as more than one 
remained alive. 

When King James approached Skye, in 1540, Ala^tair 
Crotach retired to the Castle of Pabbay, Harris, where he 
remained until the King's departure. 

It is said that Alastair Crotach, several years before his 
death, resigned nearly all his authority to nis son, WiUiam, who 
was anxious to secure, if possible, the succession to his daughter, 
Mary, amd her children, to the prejudice of his two brothers, 
Donald Glas and Tormoid, to both of whom he behaved un- 
kindly. Donald went as an adventurer to Ireland, and Tormoid 
entered the service of the King of France, where he obtained a 
distinguished command, and continued to reside with his family 
for many years, imtil circumstances, to be related hereafter, 
induced him to return home. 

On the birth of Mary's son, Dugald, a fleet of galleys was 
despatched by William Macleod to Argyleshire to convey her 
and her child, as well as her husband, to Dimvegan, where they 
were all received by the whole clan in great state. 

He gave the estate of Harris to his daughter and her hiis- 
band for their maintenance tiuring his own hfe, and made his 
daughter give up her rights in favour of her son, retaining only 
Harris as her dower or portion during her own life. 

Mary and her husband, Dimcan Campbell, went to Uve in 
Harris for the remainder of the life of the latter, who, however, 
died many years before William Macleod. 

Alastair Crotach, who was still living, could not tolerate the 
idea of the succession going to young Campbell, and endeavoured 
to prevail upon his sons, who were at enmity, to become friends, 
but without success; so, before his death, he named William 
his heir, and, failing his heirs, his second son, Donald, and, 
failing Donald's male heirs, his third son, Tormoid, and his heirs, 
This destination was only verbal, but in those days it was con- 
sidered of equal validity to a written and formal instrument. 
Alastair Crotach, in the midst of their dissension, retired to 
Rodel, where he remained during the rest of his life, and died. 
This monastery had been founded at a very early period by the 

Main Nighean Alastair Ruaidh. 65 

monks of Zona, but had fallen into decay, and Alastair Crotach 
largely endowed it with land, in Harris, which it enjoyed until 
the Reformation, which did not extend to these parts until a 
century after the time of John Knox. He also repaired and 
completed the church, which is still extant, and has a tower 
covered with many ornaments of stone, similar to those found in 
other parte of Scotland, built in the reigns of James III., IV., 
and v., and is no bad specimen of the architectural skill of that 
age. He also built two other beautiful small churches, which 
are dependent on this monastery, one at Wia and the other at 
Scarpa, but both are now in ruins. He prepared a code of 
regulations for the coUege of pipers in Skye, to which he gave 
liberal grants of land, retained by them until the time of the 
seventeenth Chief. 

Alastair Crotach's household was on a scale of great magni- 
ficence for the age and country, and he h£id several harpers, 
bard, and seanachie, and a bodyguard, whose duty it was to 
teach each man of the clan how to use the sword or the axe and 
targe. He was learned enough to translate into Gaelic some of 
the Psalms of David, which were afterwards published by the 
Rev. John Morrison, of Ness. On account of his prudence and 
sagacity, he was often made the arbitrator between the most 
powerful Chiefs of the Highlands and Isles in their feuds and 
quarrels. He was a brave soldier, and skilled in all the arms 
then in vogue. His broadsword or claymore, with which he 
performed many valiant deeds, few could now wield. He was 
accounted one of the best swordsmen of his time, and in his 
leisure hours he used to teach his young kinsmen the most 
aipproved modes of fencing, rewarding the best pupils with suits 
of armour and other prizes. He took great delight in the educa- 
tion of his grandson, who was afterwards the famous Rory Mbr, 
who always resided with him, and into whose mind he instilled 
his own good sense and many admirable qualities, which were 
then as rare as they were useful. Indeed, the latter years of 
Alastair Crotach's Hfe were as useful and exemplary as his early 
days were turbulent and reckless. 

His memory is still revered in the Isles as the friend of the 
poor, the rewarder of merit, and the best sample of a really 
great and good Chief. 

Alastair Crotach did not marry until he was over 50 yearj 
of age, because during his mother's life he would not make any 
other woman mistress of his house. After her death he wanted 
to marry, but thought himself too old and ugly for any young 


66 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

woman to accept, for although he was tall and strong, he had 
hard featuresf and a forbidding aspect, and, as ahready stated, 
was bent in his back. Cameron of Lochiel, however, told him 
that he had ten daughters, of whom he might take his choice, 
but Alastair would not have any woman against her will. When, 
the ladies were questioned, they all, from the first to the ninth, 
refused him, but the tenth, the handsomest of them all, said 
she preferred bravery, wisdom, and power to a smooth face 
without any other recommendation; so she accepted Alastair,. 
and lived happily with him for a long time, and died an old 
woman long before he did, as he lived to be over 100 years old. 
Alastair Crotach died at Rodel, when, according to his own wish, 
he was buried by the side of his wife, whose virtues and good 
qualities were set out on her tombstone. In Latin, in the church 

The first act of his sifccessor, William Macleod, after his 
father's death, was to propose to the clan, who assembled at 
Rodel at the old Chiefs funeral, to acknowledge Dugald Camp- 
bell as his heir and successor. Some of the clan agreed, but 
most of them refused to admit any right of succession through 
a female, a thing hitherto imknown anlongst them. The meet- 
ing broke up, after a turbulent discussion, without coming to 
any definite decision, but William resolved to disinherit his 
brothers and to secure the succession to his grandson. Her 
therefore gave the wardenship of Pabbay to Kenneth Campbell, 
and that of Dunvegan to Torquil Macsween, another of Camp- 
bell's adherents. He also put many Campbells into his " luchd- 
taighe," or bodyguard, and put trust only in those who 
declared in favour of his grandson. He also entered into an 
alliance with Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat, to whom he 
made over all his old rights to Sleat and Trotemess for a sum of 
money, and appointed him the Taoitear of his grandson, in case 
of his own death before yoimg Campbell came of age. He 
further accumulated a large sum of money, which he remitted 
before his death to his grandson, in Argyleshire, to enable hitn 
the better to secure the succession. These acts so completely 
alienated the affections of the clan from William that he shut 
himself up in the Castle of Dunvegan for the short remainder 
of his life, which he passed in gloom and solitude. He died in 
1552-53, a few days after receiving the news of his daughter's 
death, which occurred at Barra on the very day that she was to 
embark for Dunvegan, whither her father had invited her on 

The Highland Polk-Lore of Luck. 67 

the death of her second husband, MacneiL William Madeod's 
body was removed by the clan from Dunveg^an to Kodel, where 
it was buried, and a monument was afterwards erected over his 
remains by his nephew, Sir Roderick (Rory Mor) Macleod. 

2nd DECEMBER, 1897, 

At this meeting, Mr Duncan Cameron, general merchant, 
Muir of Ord, was elected an ordinary member of the Society. 
The paper for the evening was contributed by Mr A. Poison, 
teacher, Inverasdale, Poolewe, on the "Highland Folk-lore of 
Luck." Mr Poison's paper was as follows : — 


One has only to read any of the works on the folk-lore of 
any foreign coimtry, or reside anywhere out of the Highlands 
for a year or two, to understand that Highlanders are certainly 
not a bit more superstitious than people elsewhere, and that 
what superstitious beliefga they have, are on inquiry found to 
have arisen from some reasonable cause generally imknown to 
the sneering outsider. In adopting means to secure luck, it is 
beheved that their customs are less stupid than those of so-called 
educated people who indulge in games of chance, and who, if 
they have perfected no ' system ' by which to regulate their 
luck, then by means of charms, which may easily be bought for 
filthy lucre, they expect to propitiate the imknown and dreaded 
powers so that they may be favoured — at the es^pense of some- 
body else; of course. It is well known that in games of pure 
chance the proportion of the amount won altogether by one side 
of say two numerically equal sides of players is almost certain to 
'be very nearly an equiility in the long run, but before that long 
run comes it ought not to be forgot|)en that the last of the 
means of the apparently losing side may have gone, and then no 
way remains by which the losers m^y recoup themselves and the 
equality be restored ; and ruin then comes, as it inevitably does 
to all gamblers, and hence the ardent desire to get in some way 
or other the balance of probability on their side at the b^in- 
ning — ^in short, to load the dice. But Highlanders, in common 
with the vast majority of believers in luck, never think of it as 
coming within any mathematical or other law. 

68 GaeliG Society of Inverness. 

There is no doubt that very many Highlaaders are fatalists, 
and when untoward events happen, their feeling, and indeed 
their language, is, * It had to be,' and with this they console 
themselves, though, in justice to them, it must be said that in 
all their works the usual reasonable precautions are generally 
taken to prevent any imdesirable untoward event; but when, 
in spite of all such precautions, the event nevertheless does prove 
adverse, or, on the other hand, has turned out more successfidly 
than might reasonably be expected, then something has to be 
looked for to explain the matter, and any particular or peculiar 
circumstances in connection with the matter are looked for, and 
these circimistances are afterwards deemed lucky or unlucky, 
according to the outcome of the event with which they were 
first associated 

Many classes of persons and circimistances are, and always 
have been, deemed unlucky, not to one, but to everyone, while 
others are limited to a certain class. Thus it is always deemed 
imlucky to meet a flat-footed, red-haired woman as one sets out 
on a journey, while others as * first-foot ' or ' first-met ' mean 
ill-luck only to certain of their enemies. Bulwer Lyiiton believed 
that he never did succeed at cards when a certain person of his 
acquaintance was on the same side, or even in the same room or 
house as he was when playing, while with others who were 
perfect strangers he felt that luck was with him. Perhaps such 
a beUef might have been founded on something: in such a man 
which irritated him, and so precluded his giving his imdivided 
attention to the game. To such a person the character of being 
unlucky would easily come to be attributed. Again, there may 
be some historical reason for a belief. Thus it is considered 
imlucky for a Sinclair to leave Caithness on a Monday or in a 
green coat. The reason given for this is that it was on a 
Monday and in green coats that the Sinclairs crossed the Ord 
on their way to Flodden, whence only one returned. 

For very obvious reasons luck is most sought for at the 
beginning of some period, as at the New Year, on entering on 
some new undertaking, at a marriage, or on setting out on an 
important journey, etc., and the precursors of success, as well 
as the means taken to secure luck, may be classified according to 
the occasion to which they refer. 

Birth is a start in life, but the Httle one, in its utter help- 
lessness, has happily not to run the gaimtlet of so many unlucky 
omens as might be expected; indeed, the judgment of what 
success it may meet with in after life is, in the Highlands, in 

The Highland Folk-Lore of Luck. 39 

great measure suspended for a time. Yet to bring the young 
one success in life, a spoon, made from the horn of a hve animal, 
is considered one of the best possible charms. A very useful 
beUef is that it is extremely lucky for friends or relatives to 
place silver on a child the first time they see it. This should 
also be held lucky for the parents at a time when naturally there 
must be some considerable drain on the family's resources. 
There may be some church reason — such as the bringing of 
recalcitrant parents imder the power of the minister — ^for the 
notion that it is lucky to have a child baptized before the expiry 
of the year in which it was bom, and it is considered extremely 
unlucky to have it deferred until the following year. This helps 
in another way, as the parents are the sooner at liberty to 
divulge the child's name, which it would be imlucky to do before 
the performance of that rite. 

There are not, at least in the parts of the Highlands with 
which the writer is acquainted, any rhymes relating to lucky or 
unlucky birth-days. Thus, such a rhyme as the following is 
scarcely known: — 

" Sunday's child is full of grace, 
Monday's child is fair of face, 
Tuesday's child is solemn and sad, 
Wednesday's child is merry and glad, 
Thursday's child is inclined to thieving, 
Friday's child is free in giving, 
Saturday's child works hard for its living." 

The behef that being bom with a caul is lucky, and a sure 
preventive of death from drowning, is prevalent all over the 
Highlands, as indeed it seems to be all over the world, and has 
been for long ages, and we find St Chrysostom inveighs against 
this notion in several of his homilies. The belief now widely 
prevalent that it is lucky to carry the newly-born child * up' 
rather than * down,' and that it ought not to be weighed, must 
have been imported in quite modem times, as the houses in 
which the vast majority of Highlanders were bom in the olden 
times had no stair by which they could carry it up, and they had 
few weighing machines. 

Marriage is, as Shakespeare says, " That wild dedication of 
ourselves to impathed waters, imdreamed shores," and there are 
a large number of ways by which the happy pair may be made 
sure that thereafter on the voyage of life they will be fortimate. 
The almost imiversal notion that May is an imlucky month, and 

70 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

June a lucky one, obtains in the north of Scotland, as it hae done 
over a wide area, since Roman times; but in spite of the well- 
known rhyme which says — 

" Monday for wealth, 
Tuesday for health, 
Wednesday the best day of all, 
Thursday for crosses, 
Friday for losses, 
Saturday no day at all," 

and in spite of the widely-spread notion that Friday is an un- 
lucky day on which to enter on any undertaking, it has for a 
long time been by far the most popular day for this purpose 
throdghout the whole of Scotland. That the advent of Simday 
may prevent the linked sweetness of the festivities being too 
long drawn out, and that a Umit may be put to drawing too 
much on the resources of the donor of the feast; that a quiet 
tima.may be secured for the newly-married pair, as well as the 
allowing of a working man to get back to his work on. the fol- 
lowing Monday morning, may perhaps have, among a practical, 
ca»ny people, something to do with this otherwise impopular 
day. The City Chamberlain of Glasgow tells — " It is a well- 
estabhshed fact that nine-tenths of the marriages in Glasgow ar© 
celebrated on a Friday ; only a few on Tuesday and Wednesday ; 
Saturday and Monday are stm more rarely adopted, and I have 
never heard of such a thing in Glasgow as a marriage on Sun- 
day." Exactly the same may be said of the Highlands, and the 
proportion of happy marriages is as large there as elsewhere. 
In the Island of Lewis, however, Tuesdays and Thursdays seem 
to be the favourite days for the ceremony. 

Before the marriage the bride must take care not to hear 
the pubhcation of her own banns, else ill-luck will come to the 
offspring; and it is better, if luck would favour the festivities 
of the followmg day, that on the night before the wedding the 
bride and bridegroom be separated by running water. On the 
wedding day they should meet for the first time at the altar, and 
nothing coidd be more imlucky than to meet a funeral either in 
going or returning. On leaving the church, the procession 
shoidd be preceded by a luck-insuring married couple, and this 
is even of more importance than the usual piper or fiddler. On 
their return home, bits of bread and cheese were dropped on the 
newly-married pair, and for this there was a scramble, as secur- 

The Highland Folk-Lore of Luck. 71 

ing a piece was to 8eciirB a good-luck eharm. If the marriage 
be celebrated in the house, it will the more certainly ensure the 
yoimg pair good fortime if, for the first time they leave ther 
house, th^ make their exit by different doors. 

New-Year's Day is to most people ** an imaginary milestone 
on the turnpike track of human life,'' and it ham been said that 
the man who does not at least propose! to himself to |>e better 
this year than he was last, must be either very good or vey bad 
indeed; and it might be added that the man or woman who 
does not desire even better luck than in any previous year must 
have reached a more enviable stage of contentment than any of 
those who practice any of the many rites for the procuring or 
foretelling of good luck which have grown up aroimd the year's 
initial day. It is in the Highlands, as it evidently was in Ayr 
in the days of Bums, a happy belief that the cattle will have 
plenty to eat during the year if an extra sheaf of com be given 
them on New Year's morning. It was the giving of this 
hansel of com that inspired the poet's well-known address of 
praise to his mare Maggie. The Scandinavian peasants tie a 
sheaf to their house tops, that the birds also may have a feast at 
this season. 

When the Highland home was cleaned out at Hogmanay — 
and the cleaning at that season can only be compared to a good 
modem Spring cleaning — ^the ill-luck of the past year was sup- 
posed to be driven out, and everything was ready for a fresh 
start ; and to prevent the powers of evil again entering, first the 
Bible was placed above the door during the last hours of the 
year, and the cat kept inside, so that if by any mishap an un- 
lucky first-foot should dare to enter in spite of this, the evil 
could be got rid of by throwing out the cat, for poor pussy was 
supposed to be able to carry out with it all the mischief which 
such a person was supposed to bring in. It is not so strange 
that a red-haired woman should be a most imlucky first-foot, as 
tradition has it that Judas, the traitor, had hair of this colour, 
but why a flat-footed woman should be considered to bring ill- 
luck has not been explained, and it is probably nothing more 
than a coincidence which makes it unlucky for anyone to meet 
such a person as he first sets out on any journey. It was also 
best that all the members of the family, old as well as young, 
should have something new to wear on that day. During the 
rest of the year it is best, if luck is to attend while it is being 
worn, that it be put on for the first time on a Simday. In 
England, on the other hand, they deem it best to wear their 

7*2 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

new clothes for the first time on Easter Day, and they have a 
rhyme which says — 

" At Easter let your clothes be new, 
Or else be sure you it will rue." 

When one went out of doors on New-Year's morning, he took 
particular notice as to whether the face of the first yoimg animal 
he saw was towards him, for if so he might surely expect to do 
well, but not otherwise. 

The various ways by which Highland fishermen try to get 
fickle fortime to step their way formed the subject of a short 
paper of mine, read before the Society in 1892 (Transactions, 
Vol. xviii., p. 42), but the following beliefs, which are quietly 
entertained in some places, were not referred to then. It seems 
that if a fisherman, on setting out for his boat, met a man whose 
praenomen begins with the letter D, he may expect good fortune 
to attend him, but if it begins with a J, then the iU-luck which 
is about to come can be averted only by compelling the unlucky 
person to spit on the big searboots of the forthgoing fisherman. 
In this way, beca.use of their name, or some circumstance con- 
nected with them, some get the name of lucky or unlucky 
persons unknown to themselves. Some such are deemed so 
unlucky that if a fisherman meets them even on his way to bark 
his nets, these very nets will catch little; and it is regarded as 
certain that his chances of success on that trip are small, if, on 
first setting out, anything dead be seen, for that is, as might be 
expected, a weight on smihng fortune,; and, to fishermen gener- 
ally, a cat as a' first-foot means that danger, but no serious loss, 
will have to be reckoned with. It is a littie surprising that 
among a people who esteem their ministers, as fishermen and 
Highlanders do, that for a fisherman to have a minister aboard 
is to invite the tempest. The explanation given in my previous 
paper seems still to be the generally received one. The Mosaic 
law, and perhaps general experience on the other hand, has had 
something to do with the belief that a bridegroom is not a lucky 
— ^perhaps not a helpful — companion at sea. The bad luck 
pertaining to any boat having a pig as a part of a cargo is 
explainable by the same Jewish law. 

No matter what the purpose of a journey be, the almost 
universal idea that it is unlucky to turn back, or to see a hare 
not far from the start, is honestly held by people who might 
have been thought to be beyond that stage. A considerable 
number of the many charms or omens by which the luck that is 

The Highland Folk-Lore of Luck, 75 

to be had on any particular journey is foreseen^ is succinctly told 
in a paper read before the Society by Mr Mackenzie, secretary 
of the Crofter Commission (Transactions, Vol. xviii.). 

A strange behef, which is now happily held by few, is that 
it is unlucky to receive back any goods which have once been 
stolen, and that a thief will be unlucky, and will probably go 
mad, if any one divulges the proof of his theft. One can only 
wonder whether such motions redoimd to the credit of High- 
landers, as they have in all likelihood arisen from a notion of 
clannishness, and a desire to screen the guilty when plundering 
enemies, or practising for that purpose, and it was not desirable 
to cut short their career too early. 

In comparing the folk-lore of luck, as that obtains in the 
Highlands, with the notions on the same subject held by the 
inhabitants of other countries, one cannot fail to be struck by 
the number which are common to many widely separated places, 
and even to peoples Hving in different ages. Such widely spread 
beliefs show that, as Sir Walter Scott says in his book on 
Demonology, that the influence of credulity is contagious, so 
that' individuals will trust to the evidence of others in despite 
of their own senses ; and Burton, in his " Anatomy of Melan- 
choly," says that the idea of charms being of any avail was an 
exploded error, but further on, when he heard of the good 
effects produced by a charm, which consisted of a spider shut 
up in a hazel nut, he says — " I began to have a better opinion 
of it, and to give more credit to amulets, when I saw it in some 
parties answer to experience." In this way the incredulous are 

But lucky and imlucky omens may, and probably do, have 
an effect in another way. Is it not very likely that when a 
person has what he considers a lucky omen, he becomes pos- 
sessed of that sprightliness, or verve, begotten of high hope, and 
work* as a person expecting success does, and is therefore much 
more likely to obtain it, than another for whom a similar chance 
opens, but because something haa happened which he reckons 
to have taken awa^y his so-called luck, goes about the business 
with the half-heartedness which almost deserves, if it actually 
does not bring about, the evil fortune, which is then wrongly 
laid to the charge of the evil omens? Of such evil portends 
Highlanders have had plenty in the past, and therefore, if luck 
charms are to be believed in at all, would it not be best to 
multiply those which have an inspiring effect, and, if possible, 
diminish those whicE do the reverse? 

74 Gaelic Society of Inuernesa. 

16th DECEMBER, 1897. 

At this meeting the foUowiog gentlemen were elected members 
of the Society : — Mr Alex. Walker, H.M. Chief Inspector of Schools, 
Aberdeen ; Mr Duncan Livingstone, Ohio, U.S.A. ; Mr Donald 
Murray, commission agent, Inverness ; Mr David Gracie, excise 
officer, Inverness ; Mr John Young:, of Messrs Young <t Chapman, 
drapen*, Inverness ; and Rev. Alex. Stuart, Daviot. Thereafter 
the Assistant Secretary read a paper contributed by Captain 
Douglas Wimberley, Inverness, entitled " Bi^rhouse Papers,'' No. 
II. Captain Wimberley 's j»apcr was i»s follows : — 


Consisting Mainly of Letters Addressed to John Campbell 

OF Barcaldine, some time one of the Government Factors 

ON THE Forfeited Estates after the '45. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy to John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, dooqueted, " Edr. 12 Augt., 1746^— Letter Lord 

"Edr. 12th Au^. 1746. 

" Sir, — Ld.'s Monzie and Tinwald told me they still wanted 
some Papers to be laid before them before they could determine 
in the submission refer'd to them. I believe they gave some 
directions to Lochlane to procure these papers. They are both 
gone out of Town. 

" The prisoners in this Castle wwe sent to Carlisle some days 
ago, and this day those who arrived here from Perth on Satur- 
day followed them. Tiemdiishe sent a scheme to the Justice 
Clerk, which would be very good if practicable at present. It 
contained several articles : one of the most material was that all 
the Chiefs should swear to be faithful, and to keep their m«i 
so, to the Govemm^it: another article was that every chi^ 
should deHver up all the reputed thieves of his Clan, and if any 
Beast is stolen by any of his dan he shall be obhged to return 
it to the Chief of the Clan from whence it was taken and every 
chief should answer for the clan. You'll easily see that the 
nature and stUe of it made it imfit for the Justice Clerk to send 
it to Lcmdon. 

" It gives really more power to the Chiefs, whereas Parlia- 
ment wants to take their power away and even put an end to 
the very name of Chief. 

The Bighouse Papers. 75 

'' Macnachtane is left here for examination by the Justice 
Clerk, or was yesterday examined by him. He told me he had 
orders to examine him. 

'' I have spoke to Sheriff Miller about Keithock, and he says 
he'll serve him, he goes to Carlisle to manage the Trial of those 
sent from Scotland. 

" The Earl of Albemarle is expected here in a week, all come 
away from Fort- Augustus but E. of Londoun with 20 Inde- 
pendent Companies. His Ldp. has taken up old Glengarry 
upon a complaint of Barrisdale, Limdie, Shian, Achtera, a 
cousin of - rdnabie, and two sons of Scotehouse, all M'Donalds, 
alledging that Glengarry got him partly perswaded and partly 
forced out. I suppose this is a Trick of Barrisdale to see what 
he can do with Ld. Albemarle, since he fail'd with the Duke. 

" There has been no accoimt for a long time of the young 
Pretender, the scent after him is entirely lost. Some think him 
dead by some way or other, others think he has got off in a 
Yess^. I can't think him dead, it would certainly be known. 

" I go to-morrow for London. — Adieu — ^Yours, 

" Glenorchy." 

Notes. — ^Lords Monzie and Tinwald were two of the Judges, 
the former one of the Campbells of Monzie, the latter Charles 
Areskine, appointed a Judge in 1744, and Lord Justice-Clerk 
from 1748 to 1763. The Lord Justioe-Clerk in 1746 was 
Andrew Fletcher of Milton, who held that office from 1735 to 

Tirindrish, Donald Macdonald, was executed at Carlisle on 
18th October, 1746. 

Macnachtane (see next letter). 

Prince Charlie was about the time the above letter is dated 
in or near Strathglass and Glencannich, with Glenaladale and 
the Seven Men of Glenmoriston, or some of them; he did not 
embark for France till about 30th September. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy, to John Campbell of Bar- 
oaldine, dooqueted "Point* Pleasant, 14th October, 1746. 
Letter Lord Glenorchy " : — 

"Point Pleasant, 14th October, 1746. 

" Sir, — ^I have now before me yours of the 18th, 25th, and 

28th past. I'm, obliged to you for your Intelligence, which I 

desire you to continue and let me know whenever anything 

particular occurs. I told the contents of your last to the D. 

76 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

about the Pr's embarking on the 17th on board one of two 
ships. He said the account was more particular than any he' 
had seen, but that he was informed one of the ships was only of 
20 guns. He said he had not heard Ld. Lewis Gordon was 
gone with him, but that Lochiel's Uncle was gone, whom you 
did not mention ; and he knew the story of Barrisdale being a 
Prisoner, which he said had very much disobliged Clanronald, 
tho' he went along with the rest for his safety. 

" I know nothing of any general or particular scheme yet 
under consideration. The Prest. is often with the Ministers, 
but he does not seem satisfied; he goes in a few days to Edr. 
for the Session. 

" I have not heard of any persons being accused by Murray, 
at least none are yet taken up. 

" I believe Crosby, whom Johnie Bane carried to Perth, is 
hang'd there; he was found to have been originally in our 
army, and to have deserted to the French, where he was an 
officer. I see by the newspapers that Johnie s other prisoner, 
M'Nachtaue, is condemned at Carlisle, and I think I read that 
a day was appointed for the execution of him and others. I 
suppose his being proved to have kill'd Gardener made it not 
proper to save him, or perhaps he would not tell. I am sure it 
was known here that he could make discoveries. Petitions have 
been presented from Kinloclunoidart and Timdrishe, and great 
offers made by them. I believe 'tis not determined what is to 
be their fate, at least I know that two days ago it was not 
resolved. The Judges at Carlisle seem'd extremely pleased with 
Timdrish's behaviour on his trial. 

" I've had a letter from Kiethock, dated at Brampton, com- 
plaining of the expense of his long confinement, from which he 
was discharged, there being nothing against him. I believe a 
letter, which I mentioned to you in one of my letters, help'd to 
hasten it. 

" Tlie D. of Arg. has lately strain'd his best leg, which has 
confined him to his house ; he is better. 

" You'll see in the newspapers an account of a Battle in 
Flanders. Count Saxe laid a great scheme, much to his repu- 
tation, and endeavoured to execute it. As our army lay, the 
right wing cover'd Mastricht, and was so posted that he could 
not attack it with any advantage, tho' he was vastly superior in 
number. On our left were three villages, in which we had 2 
British Battalions, 2 Hanoverian, and 2 Hessian. Count Saxe 
made his whole attack upon our left in different columns or 
bodies, of which one advanced as the former was repulsed. In 

The Bighouse Papers. 77 

this manner he attacked these poor six Battalions with fifty-four 
Battalions. Our people defended themselves finely and repulsed 
the French very often, till overpower'd with numbers they were 
severely handled. Brigadier Douglas (the husband of Ly. 
Irwine) signalized himself in defending a Pass which the French 
could never force him from, till at last he retreated in good 
order. One Hanoverian Regt. and the Hessian Regt. which we 
saw exercise belonging to the old grey hair'd General Manspach, 
fought to the last and refused quarter from the French ; of the 
Hanoverian Regt. there was but two or three officers left alive, 
and the Hessian Regt. lost six captains, and subalterns in pro- 
portion. The Dutch and two Battalions of Bavarians who had 
joined the army the day before, were in another part of the left 
wing, and lost above 1700 men. The British lost about 300, 
and the whole loss was something above 3000 men. Count 
Saxe imagined our right wing would be brought to support our 
left, which made him attack the left in columns in order to give 
time to our right to come up to them, and he had a Body of 
10,000 Horse ready to cut immediately into the ground of our 
ri^ht wing and so to separate our army from Mastricht. His 
scheme was certainly very fine, and he executed everything 
finely for it. But Mareshal Bathiani perceived his design (by 
which he has gained great honour) and would not move a man 
of his right wing, so that Count Saxe was fairly bit. 'Tis true 
that Bathiani sacrificed the left wing, but he gained his point 
in securing Mastricht, which was of vast consequence. Tis said 
the French lost 10,000 men, amongst which were above 300 
officers. One of their General Officers was killed. One of the 
Dutch Generals was killed and several wounded. The Dutch 
behaved well. The P. of Hesse behaved mighty well. The 
young Pr. of Issenberg, who was with the two Regts. at Ster- 
ling, is taken prisoner. 

" George Haldane, Bathiani's aid de camp, is come to London 
with this acooimt, the French finding they coidd not carry their 
point are moving into winter quarters, as is also the allied army, 
so all is over this year in Flanders. Count Saxe after the 
battle sent a great detachment into Provence to defend it from 
the troops in Italy, and another to. Picardy to protect it against 
our fleet, which is said to have taken Port L'Orient where the 
French East India stores ara There are no direct accounts 
from Lestoch, but some letters from Paris say we have done 
them great mischief, and others say we did nothing but land and 
re-emibark. I think the former account most likely. 

" The Austrians lying on our right were not engaged. 

78 Gaelic Society erf Inverness. 

"This is a particular aoooiint in return for yours, though 
the subject being at a greater distance is not so interesting. 
However, it gives pleasure to see that so vast a superiority of 
the French could do nothing but obUge us to retire after killing 
them above double the number of our slain. They have, indeed, 
taken some prisoners, but they are included in the 3000. 

" The weather is still very fine, which invites us to stay a 
fortnight longer here, and then we shall go to town. — Adieu, 
yrs., " G :' 

Note. — On the back of this is a memorandiun as follows : — 

" Dungallon. 

" Glencaimey. 

" John Bane. 

" Balleveolan and Corries. 

" My three in the first." 


Letter from Lord Gienorchy, to John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, Esq., so addressed with the addition of " at 
Barcaldine, by Inverary," and dooqueted '* London, 3rd 
Feby. 1747, Lord Breadalbane's letter" [sic], 

"London, 3rd Feby. 1747. 

" Sir, — ^My last to you was (I think) of the 15th instant, and 
the next day I received yours of the 6th. . 

" When Castle Kelchem was mentioned to me, it was a 
sudden thought arising from what was accidentally said about 
it, and I soon after told D. A. that it would be inconvenient for 
me to part with it. But, on further consideration, I think there 
would be no harm in disposing of it. An excambion (as you 
very properly hint) would be the most desirable way of doing it, 
but in case the Government can't so easily take that method, 
the next best would be a tollerable sum. equal to the value it is 
to mej One pretty strong argument for parting with it is, that 
whenever any troubles happen now or hereafter, it will certainly 
have a garrison put in it, since it is now known, and considering 
who spoke of it. In that case I should loose the advantage of it 
at the times when it would be most usefull, and temporary acci- 
dental garrisons are generally more hurtfuU to the country and 
to the House than one always settled there. But possibly it 
may rest just as it is. 

" I think your project of the road thro' Glen Lochy is prefer- 
able to that thro' Gienorchy, and a road striking off to Bunaw 
would be very proper. 

The Bigfrouse Papers. T& 

" I have made the proper use of your note of the places 
commodious for garrisons, great and small. I find a dislike to 
the small bodies of troops, which makes me apprehend they will 
not be scattered enough to be of service against stealing. I 
'believe there will be a camp at Fort-Augustus next summer. 

" If you have ever heard the places where Oliver had garri- 
sons, I wish you would let me know them. I have writt to the 
Earl to try if he remembers. 

" How far is Achalador from Kinchlachan at the head of 
Loch Rannoch ; and how far is it from Achtriohadan at the head 
of Glenco; does it lye near the great Muir which is between 
these two places? 

" I know nothing yet of what is to be done about the for- 
feited estates. I believe that matter has not been thought up 
yet. Some proposal about taking away all private judicatures 
and establishing another method of executing the Laws is to be 
laid before the House of Lords very soon. 

" As Drumd. of Coohoille and Calender are not attainted, I 
doubt if their estates will be forfeited. If thev do not fall to 
the Crown, I'm thinking of proposing Cask's estates in place of 

" I have spoke to the D. of Mountague about Ardchattan's 
brother. He said he does not remember of any vacancy of a 
Gunner's place in Scotland since he promised this to me, but 
would look into the books about it. 

" I have likewise desired some who are with the D. to put 
him in mind of John Bane. 

" His Royal Highness set out from hence on Simday last at 
4 in the morning for Holland, and hopes to get the troops early 
into the Field. 

" Caroline Scot who defended Fort-William is made one of 
his Aid de Camps, and is gone with him. He was made Major 
in Guise's regiment before. 

" The King has pardon'd all his subjects taken Prisoners in 
the Rebellion who are officers in the French Service on condition 
that they never carry arms against him in these Kingdoms, and 
the French King has set at liberty all the British Subjects that 
were taken up in France. An Exchange is now making off 
Prisoners, so that the three lads will be exchanged with the 

" Affairs continue in Provence still the same, a body of 
about 6000 French and Spaniards attacked 2000 Austrians at a 
small town, where they ddPended themselves for three hours and 
then retired, but lost considerably. 

^0 Gaelic Society hf Inverness. 

"I wish you could get Rt. Morison's brother to come to 
Taymouth, I mean he who refused the terms I offer'd him last 
year. Perhaps he may be more willing now. I leave it to you 
to make the bargain; and if you agree let Achalr. know it in 
time to provide a place for him and a croft. — Adieu, yrs., 

"G . 

" Just as I am finishing Sandie is come in, he looks vastly 
better than when I saw him at Taymouth, moves his arm 
bravely, and seems amazed with the beauty of the coimUy he 
came thro'. He has explain'd the situation of Achalder per- 
fectly to me, and I think it a very proper station for a party.'' 

Note. — The, *' three lads" referred to as prisoners of war in 
France, no doubt included two nephews of Barcaldine's, whom 
Lord Glenorchy mentions in a " Menmorial for Barcaldine and 
Glenure" (which wiU be given below) as having distinguished 
themselves in a remarkable manner, and as " having been taken 
prisoners and sent into France for refusing to sign a parole not 
to carry arms against the Pretender, where they remained till 
the cartel was settled." 

Caroline Scot, perhaps the officer called " Captain Scot," who, 
while in command at Braemar Castle in 1749, was particularly 
active in arresting persons wearing " dyed blankets" for wearing 
1»rtan. He had previously become notorious for executing 
vengeance on the Highlanders in the west of Inverness-shire. 

" Sandie " was John Barcaldine's brother, Lieut. Alex. 
Campbell, of Loudoun's Highlanders, who was desperately 
wounded at Perth very shortly before the Battle of CuUoden. 
See Letter No. XX. 

Achalader, as mentioned above, was near Loch Tulla. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy, to John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, the cover addressed " To John Campbell of 
Barcaldine, Esq., to the care of the Chamberlain of 
Argyll at Inveraray,' and docqueted " London, 3 March 
1747, Lord Breadalbane' s letter" [stc]. 

"London, 3rd March, 1747. 
" gir^ — ^I have now before me yours of the 24th Jany. and 
the 14tli Feby. I received t._e first soon after I had writt to 
you on the 1st Feby. The last came to hand some days ago 
with one enclosed for Pattie Ardchattan. I wrote a long time 
ago to Sr. John Ligonier recommending them to him that they 


The Big house Papers. 81 

might be included in the Exchange of Prisoners which was then 
talked of, and I have had his answer telHng me that he had 
sent money to all the Prisoners during the late Campaign, and 
that he would recommend the three lads to the Commissaries 
who are to regulate the Exchange. Captain George Haldane is 
to go over next week to be Aid de Cainp again to Count 
Bathiani, and I will give him your letter for Pattie. I'm un- 
willing to send it by the Post for fear they should be come 
away from Lisle. I spoke some time ago to — r Hume, brother 
to the Commissary, who is gone abroad, and I desired him to 
write to his Brother about the X50 to know if it was paid. He 
told me yesterday that he had writt, but his Brother being 
moving from place to place upon the business of the Army, he 
had not yet got an answer from him. 

** As to C K [Castle Kilchum] I have not heard a 

word more about it. Whether it will drop or not I cannot tell. 
The D. of Argyll has been indisposed with an ague for a week 
past, but is now pretty well again. 

" I don't know if I mentioned to you before that I had writt 
to the L-Chief Baron about a certain affair. He told Bank 
John that he had got a letter from me, and would remember the 
contents of it, and would soon write to me. I have spoke to 
the proper persons here, but they have not yet thought of that 
matter, nor determined how to turn it. 

" Your last letter has cleared up to me the report spread here 
of some persons being landed from France. I mentioned the 
contents of your letter to some here who told me they had 
received much the same Information. I agree with you that 
'twould be very right to have some care taken of the Education 
of the sons of the principal Kebels. I was sorry to hear that 
Lochiel's two sons had passed with their mother throiigh this 
town to France by the way of Holland. They will certainly be 
bred up Jacobites and possibly Papists. 

" Lovat's trial comes on next Thursday, having been put off 
12 days upon his Petition, yesterday he petitioned again for 
more time, on pretence that his witnesses are not come up, but 
his agent being asked if a few days would be sufficient and if 
the evidences not arrived are material ones, the agent answer'd 
no, and insinuated that Lovat hoped the Lords would give him 
a considerable time, perhaps some weeks, upon which they 
rejected his Petition. 

" A Bill is brought into Parliament for taking away all 
private Judicatures, and that no person shall have a power of 


S2 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

incarcerating any man except in the publick Prisons, All 
Sheriffs, hereditary or for life are to be taken away, and the 
Crown to appoint the Sheriffs and one Sheriff Depute who must 
be an advocate of a certain standing; and the Sheriffs may 
name more Deputes but must have the approbation of the 
Crown. Circuits are to be held twice a year in different places. 
Argyllshire is to be in the Circuit of Glasgow. The value of all 
the Judicatures is to be settled by the Lords of Session at Edr., 
and they are to be paid. There are many particulars in the Bill 
and many more wanting. I have writt to John Achalader that 
the Prison of Killin will make an excellent Cellar for the Change 

" I ask'd Colonel Howard (whom you saw with Gen. Bland 
at Taymouth) who is just come from Carlisle, the truth of what 
I wrote to you about Kiethock's Imprudence. He told me that 
he is not acquainted with him, but that he knows he attended 
every execution in deep mourning, and show'd many marks of 
his concern and his disapprobation of their Pimishment, and that 
Brigadier (or Major Genl.) J? lemming, who commanded at that 
time at Carlisle, being inform'd of his appearing in solenm 
mourning at the first execution, sent him a private advice 
(purely out of good nature, oeing noways acquainted with him) 
not to do so again, and to be more cautious in his expressions, 
but he still persisted, and behav'd in general very improperly. 
This is what Col. Howard, told me, and several particulars too 
tedious and not fit for a letter. I am really sorry for his folly. 

" Your brother Sandy staid here a fortnight or more on his 
way to Bath, he looks well and has got Teeth set in so as to be 
very useful in eating. He went forward four days ago. He is 
trying to get James [ ?] Stronslanie's Company (who wants to be 
out) by either allowing James half -pay or buying the Company. 
I don't know if he'll succeed. 

" E. Albemarle is going to Flanders, and Huske refuses to 
take the command, so 'tis thought Blakeney will have it, but not 
yet determined. Secretary Murray is to be evidence against 
Lovat. He would be evidence against several others, but there 
is not another witness against them. — Adieu. " G . 

"I have not seen anybody to ask about AUan, but I don't 
doubt he is "well or we should have heard about it. Those 
Troops have been long expected from Ireland." 

Notes. — ^Patrick Campbell, Ardchattan, was a nephew of 
John of Barcaldine, and a subaltern in Loudoun's Highlanders. 
The proposed sale of Kilchum to Government seems to have 

The Bighouse Papers. 83 

been given up. " Bank John " was John Campbell, Cashier of 
the Royal Bank of Scotland. Of Lochiel's sons, John, the 
eldest, was a captain in his father's regiment, the " Regiment of 
Albany," and after his father's death in the " RoyS Scots," 
both in the French service; but he returned to Scotland in 
1759 ; James, another son, was also a captain in the last-named 
regiment, commanded by Lewis Drummond, and died in 1759. 
Two of Lochiel's daughters married French officers, and one died 
in a convent at Paris. Their mother was a daughter of Sir 
James Campbell of Auchinbreck. 

Keithock was a brother-in-law of John C. of Barcaldine, who 
married Keithock's sister: it was well for him that General 
Flemming was in command a- Carhsle instead of Howard, who 
had the same reputation for barbarous severity as Caroline Scot. 

Lord Albemarle and Huske both held high commands at 
the battle of Culloden. Lord Albemarle was in command of the 
first line; General Huske of the second; Flemming's Regt., the 
35th, and Blakeney's, the 27th, were also present in the r^^erve 
line; and the 3rd Buffs, " Howard's,' were there also, but pos- 
sibly they took their name from another Col. Howard. 

'■'Allan " was a brother of Barcaldine's. See note at end of 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy, to John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, Esq., so addressed to him on cover, and * Care 
of the Chamberlain of Argyll at Inveraxay," and doc- 
queted "London, 19th March, 1747, Lord Glenorchy's 
Letter": — 

"London, 19th March, 1747. 
" Sir, — I have before me your two letters of the 21st Feby. 
and 7th March, tlie last of which had one enclosed from Bah- 

veolan to his son. I gave it to Campbell, General Bland's 

aide de camp, who is gone this day for HoUaud, and will enquire 
if these lads are still at Lisle. Yours to Patie is gone also. 

" The last time I saw Mr Hume he told me he had not then 
got an answer from his brother relative to the X50, but expected 
it daily. I'll ask him from time to time about it. 

" No further step has been taken in the Act for taking away 
the judicatures, the two Houses of Parliament having been for 
some days occupied about Lovat's Trial, but now that it is 
ended I suppose that Act will be immediately resumed, and that 
there will be time to consider of some other Regulations. No 

84 Gaelic Societii of Inuerneas. 

step has yet been taken with regard to the forfeited estates. 

" I am clear as to an excambion, but there can be no pro- 
posal made till 'tis known what power the Crown will have over 
those lands, and how far bargains already made about them 
will be valid, which will be a work of time. The Advocate 
being now come up may forward these Acts. 

" You did well to engage Morrison only for a year, his terms 
being high, but he may be worth the expense. 

" In Lovat's Trial, the Lords constantly show'd him great 
Indulgence, having twice adjoum'd for a day and once for three 
days, on his complaint of being weak and imable to bear the 
fatigue of it every day. But he has shewn during the whole 
time as much spirit as any young fellow, and good health, but 
weak in his Limbs, and was, therefore, allowed a Chair at the 
Bar. The Proofs against him were very strong and clear, wit- 
nesses who swore to his having entered into an association with 
E. Traquair and others in the year 1739, and sent over their 
scheme to France by Dnimmond of Bochaldie, and Murray ""he 
Secretary gave the same evidence with many circumstances, 
particularly that, after the Battle of Culloden, he advisd 
assembling 3000 men, of which 400 Frasers, in order to encour- 
age others to come to them again. In the former association 
and in a scheme sent to France a few years ago, he proposed 
1500 French to land about Aberdeen, 1500 in the West High- 
lands, and 10,000 in England. His Secretary, Robert Eraser, 
swore to several letters writt by him (Eraser), dictated by his 
Lop., which were produced, some of them were writt to the 

yoimg Pr r, assuring him of his zeal, and bewailing his mis- 

fortime of not being able to come in person to him, but that he 
had sent his darling son to him. In a letter to his son, after his 
escape from E. Loudoim, he says He was lucky to get away, for 
he had done more harm to the Government than would hang 50 
Lords and forfeit 50 Estates. One Hugh Fraser, who had been 
his secretary till the year 1744^ deponed his being sent by him 
(tho' not then in his service) to the young Pr. after his landing. 
It appear'd also that he had a Patent of Duke, and a Commis- 
sion to command the Highland Forces. In short the proof was 
so clear and so strong that when he came on his defence he 
insisted that his witnesses were detained in Scotland, and 
desired time to send for them, tho' he had often said before that 
he had 9 or 10 of them in town, who would contradict all that 
was laid to his charge, but he certainly did not imagine the proof 
was so clear, and one of his own Lawyers told me it was impos- 

The Big house Papers. 85 

sible for him to make any defence. He would not examine any 
of his witnesses, but made a long speech mentioning his former 
services and his obUgations to the late King, and would infer 
that he was therefore not capable of rebelling. Upon the 
whole the Lords, being 157 present, were unanimous that he 
was guilty, and this day he received sentence, which the King 
will mitigate to beheading. 

" In several of his letters he says he had been always 
attached to that Family, and had done it more service than any 
man in Scotland by keeping up the spirit among the people, 
with many very strong expressions of loyalty and zeal, &c. 

" Tm glad the weather has been so favourable with you. It 
is very cold here and frost in the nights. * 

" Sandie writes me from Bath, he had not then found any 
benefit for want of time, he is very anxious to have a Company 
tho' he should buy it. 

" The difficulties of reducing Genoa still subsist, the Aus- 
trians had not yet got their Ai-tillery by the last letters. — ^Adieu 
—Yours, " G ." 

Note. — ^Baleveolan was descended from John of Barcaldine, 
the second laird. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy, to John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, Esq., docqueted ''London, 9 April, 1747. 
Letter Lord Glenorchy " : — 

"London, 9th April,' 1747. 
" Sir, — ^I seceived in due course yours of the 25th past. My 
last to you was of the 19 th. 

" I agree with you in your notion of the Bill you read, and 
hkewise that something might be done with regard to the BaOi- 
arie of Breadalbane for the benefit of the pubUck, but people 
here don't see those things in the same light. The Bill Is 
alteor'd from its first form, and I'm told it takes away the power 
of judging in Criminal cases only where life is concerned, but 
leaves the power of trying and punishing less Crimes, such as 
small Thefts, Kiots, &c., and also of judging causes of money not 
exceeding about 40s sterlg., so that it only cuts off the Branch 
relating to Capital crimes. As to Circuits I'm told they are to 
be at Inveraray, Fort- William, and Dornoch. The Bill was 
brought into the House of C. last Teusday, and a strong debate 
upon it, being opposed by all those who constantly oppose, and 
by some others and some Soots members. The House is sum- 

86 Gaelic Society of Inueiness. 

mon'd to attend after the Easter Holydays, that it may be con- 
jsidered with attention. A clause is inserted giving the same 
power over Miners as the law now gives over Colliers and 
Salters. Another Bill' is talked of for taking away ward hold- 
ings and converting them into Fues, to be valued by the session. 

" I doubt much if Sandie's scheme will succeed. His first 
thought was to give half-pay to James, which should be con- 
tinued always by the yoimgest Capt., so that San die would be 
quit of it whenever a younger Capt. is made, but E. Loudoun is 
entirely averse to burdening any officer with the half-pay of 
another, and declares he will always oppose it. Sandie next 
offers to buy James' Compy. or any other, and to sell his own 
Conmiission. I n^entioned this to E. Loudoun, who told me he 
has a very good opinion of Sandie, tho' little acquaintance with 
him, and should be glad to see him advanced, but that being 
determined to go on in a regular manner in the Regiment if 
James gets leave to sell (which he doubts) he will be obliged to 
offer the purchase to the eldest Lieut., and in case he refuses to 
buy, then to the next Lieut., and so down. He said he wished 
all above Sandie would refuse to buy, but he imagines some have 
money for it. I asked him if Sandie's wounds would not be 
reckon'd a sufficient reason for giving him the preference in 
buying; he answer'd that it wotdd be a veiy good reason for 
preferring him to any who were idle or absent from their Posts, 
but it would be looked upon in any regiment a hardship to 
prefer a man (when a younger officer) only because he happen'd 
to be wounded before others who were equally doing their duty, 
but had the luck to be on command in another place. He 
assur'd me that if he can serve Sandie without giving cause of 
complaint to others (which he is resolved always to avoid) he 
will do it. I had a letter lately from Sandie advising me to 
buy Sr. Alexr. Macdonald's stock of cattle for Finlarig, but says 
not a word of himself. 

" The C. Bar.'s answer to me is in these words — ' By the Bill 
it is calculated to give the appointment of the officers and agents 
to the Bars., and I have laid a foimdation which I hope will not 
fail of success in obtaining what your Lop. desires, when we 
shall be invested with ther proper powers.' The Bill was framed 
in Scotd., and will I suppose soon come into the H. of Cs. 

" Tell Ardchattan that I have received his letter, and shall 
be glad to serve his son and brother all I can. 

" I almost forgot to mention that E. Loudoun is very much 
dissatisfied with Gleneure for not attending at his post, and I 

The Bighouse Papers. 8T 

find he takes it ill that CoUn appUed to others for leave of 
absence rather than to his Ldp. He said that when ever he 
asks leave again he will certainly refuse him. If you see Colin 
I wish you would tell him this, and Loud, says that the mistake 
iQ his Commission is of no consequence, and the rather because 
he imagiries CoHn will hot continue long iu the army, as he does 
not appear to be fond of it. These were his Ldp.'s words. 

" I have heard that all the officers of Lord Jo. Murray's 
Regt. are well, and consequently Allan. As soon as they arrived 
in England from Ireland, they sail'd directly for Holland. 
General Sinclair told me they were forced into a very mountain- 
ous part of Ireland, and the Highlanders seem'd excessively 
pleased, and went up directly to the tops of the HiQs as barren 
as in Lochaber. 

" Mr Hume (brother to the Commissary) tells me that his 
brother writes to him. from Flanders that the person there whom 
he employ'd to pay the X50 to the Lads has stated it in his 
Accounts, so that he reckons they certainly got it, but that he^ 
would make further enquiry about it. 

" The Duke has taken the Field, and the Army will be 
assembled in a very httle time, some accounts call them 150,000 
men, but I'm told the D. himself (which is good authority) says 
he shall have immediately 125,000 men. 

" Adml. Medley ha® taken ten of the French Transports with 
1500 men going to Genoa, the rest escaped into small Creeks 
in the Coast. He had posted himself so that nothing could get 
in, 'twas thought some got in before. 

" I send you the Ld. High Steward's speech in pronouncing 
sentence on Lord Lovat, which is reckoned a fine performance. 
He was beheaded this day. I have not heard how he behaved 
on the scaffold, but he was two days ago extremely easy and 
unconcerned. He then said he would dye like a man, and would 
not trouble the spectators with any speech. He declared him- 
self a Roman CathoHo of the sect of the Jansenists, who deny 
the InfaUibihty and Supremacy of the Pope, and place the latter 
in the GaUican Church. — ^Adieu — Yours, " G . 

" All the particulars mentioned in the Speech were proved at 
the Bar. Lovat petitioned the H. of Lords for leave to have a 
Priest, which was granted. 

" The D. of Argyll's youngest daughter was married on 
Saturday to Lord Coke, the son of the E. of Leicester. There 
is only one daughter now to marry." 

Notes. — ^Lord Loudon's Regiment, after serving in Flan- 
ders, and taking part in the unsuccessful defence of Bergen-op- 

SS Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Zoom, joined the Duke of Cumberland's army, and at the peace 
of 1748 returned to Scotland, and was reduced at Perth in 
June of that year. 

Alexander Campbell, BarcaJdine's brother, is probably the 
Sandie who, as is evident from a subsequent letter of Lord 
Glenorchy's (No. XXIX.), borrowed money in 1747, possibly 
for his Company; in any case he must have left Loudon's 
Itegimeat on its reduction, but whether he was afterwards 
appointed to another I have failed to discover; perhaps he was 
appointed a Lieutenant in Montgomery's Highlanders in 1757. 
His brother, Glenure, apparently gave up the profession of arms. 

Barcaldine's son, Alexander, who had served as a Volunteer 
in the Argyllshire Militia in 1746, got a Captain's commission 
in one of die Independent Companies raised in 1747, and per- 
haps he is the Sandie referred to in Letter No. XXIX. Among 
the Bighouse Papers is a voluminous letter, full of excellent 
advice, from John Campbell, cashier of the Royal Bank of 
Scotland (" Banker John "), dated Edinburgh, 2nd September, 
1747, and addressed to *' Captain Alexander Campbell, younger 
of BarcaJdine, commanding a British Independent Company 
design'd for service at Forb-George, in the East Indies," on the 
occasoion of his leaving his home and his coimtry, as to hia 
bearing as a Christian, a gentleman, and a soldier. 

Allan Campbell, brother of John of Barcaldine, and of Alex- 
ander, and Colin, Glenure, was in Lord John Murray's Regi- 
ment, then numbered the 43rd, the Black Watch : for a time it 
was designated by the titles of its successive Commanders, as 
" Lord Crawford's," ' Lord Sempill's," and " Lord John 
Murray's;" the last got the regiment in 1745. Part only of the 
three last raised Companies, along with Loudon's Highlanders, 
joined the force which embarked for l<^landers in April, 1747: 
as all claimed to serve, the question of preference was decided 
by the men of these three Companies drawing lots. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy, to John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, docqueted " London, 23 April 1747 — ^Letter 
Lord Glenorchy." 

"London, 23rd April 1747. 
" Sir, — ^I have received your two letters of the 4iJi and 1 1th. 
The Report of some French ships being on the West Coast stiil 
prevails hera I'm glad to find by your last that it is not true. 

The Bighouse Papers. 89 

" 'Tis wonderful how Ardsheal and Ludovick Cameron escape 
so long the search made after them and others, and I'm sur- 
prised Climy has kept his person and his money all this time 
out of the hands of the Parties sent after him. 

" I see in your last your blood raised against miserable Mac- 
nab, whom I laugh at, his aspersions will do little harm, tho' 
they shew his good will. 

" Sandie is come from Bath, his hand is much better, he can 
use his fingers pretty well, and the natural warmth is retum'd 
into it, except the little finger, but he is told it will also recover 
in time. He went from Bath to see Allan at Portsmouth, who, 
he says, looks extremely well, and is grown fat. The Highland 
Kegiment, with the Royals and Brag's, are now in Zealand to 
hinder the French from crossing into that Island, and some of 
our men of war join'd to some Dutch are in the Scheld for the 
same purpose. 

" The Dutch have declared the Prince of Orange Stadtholder 
of the seven Provinces. The mob or common people rose 
tumultuously and insisted upon it, so that the States thought 
it necessary for their own safety to agree to it, and yesterday 
was appointed for the ceremony. 

" The French have taken Madras or Fort St George in the 
West Indies, which is a great loss to the East India Company, 
and consequently to the nation. Three of the French ships, on 
board of which they had put the chief of their Plimder, were 
lost soon after at sea, so that they did not get much by it, and 
probably ovir men of war will recover it. 

" The last accounts from Holland said the Duke was advanc- 
ing towards Antwerp to besiege it, in order to draw the French 
to a Battle. 

" Lovat died with great firmness and decency, shewed no 
apprehension, and was gay and easy on the scaffold. He had 
agreed with an undertaker to carry his Body down to his own 
Countrey, but it was forbid, so that he wiQ lose the Coronach. 

" The Bill for taking away the Jurisdicity was strongly 
debated last week in the House of Commons: the number for 
the Bill was 233, the number against it was 102. The Duke of 
Queensbury and E's of Eglington and March petition'd against 
it. Several here think the power left with the Baihes of fining 
in a small sum in case of Quarrels and Riots in the Coimtrey, 
and of imprisoning for a short time when the Criminal can't pay 
his fine, is too great a power. They would leave no power 
except of taking up Rents and of putting in the Stocks. By the 
Bill, as it now stands. Bailies can judge of small crimes such as 

90 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

quarrels, and can fine and imprison for a certain time when the 
fine can't be paid, and they can jjudge in debts not exceeding 
40 sh. sterlg. The Prisons must be enter'd in the Sheriff 
Clerk's book, and must be above ground, with windows for the 
Prisoner's friends to see and converse with him. The Sheriff 
Depute is to be apjK>inted by the Crown, and must be an Advo- 
cate of a certain standing, and he is to hold itinerant Courts in 
whatever places he pleases in his Sherifdom, and if he finds the 
private prisons unhealthy or oppressive he may prohibit them. 

" John won t look kindly on a Sheriff Depute holding Courts 
at Killin and Kenmore. In the further progress of the Bill 
there may yet be some alterations made. 

" We set out on Wednesday next the 29th for Sugnall, 
where I shall not sty long. I hope to be at Edinburgh about 
the 15th or 16th of next month, and at Tay mouth about the 
22nd or thereabouts. I shall sty there ten or twelve days, and 
shall return back to Sugnall. I wish you could come to Tay- 
mouth to me, but 111 let you know further when I come to Edr. 
I beheve Sandie will go with me from this all the way to Edr. 
He is delighted with the country, and says if yoii saw what he- 
has seen you would run inad with Projects. — ^Adieu. 

" G . ' 

Note. — I presimie that the " John " who would not look 
kindly on Courts held at KiUin and Kenmore wa^^ John Camp- 
bell of Achalader, as Achmore was close to Killin. As to Sug- 
nall, see note at end of next letter. 


Letter from Lord Glenorchy, to .John Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, Esq., so addressed, and " to the care of the 
Chamberlain of Argyll at Inveraray," and docqueted 
"London, 12th Novr., 1747, Lord Breadalbane's 
Letter": — 

" London, 12th Novr., 1747. 
" Sir, — I am come up here to attend bis Majesty in my office 
at the opening of Parliament, and would return immediately to 
Sugnall, where I left the family, but I stay on account of your 
affair and that of the Sheriff, about which I shall soon have an 
opportunity of talking fully, and will then let you know my 
thoughts of it. 

" Since my last I have had two melancholy letters from 
Sandie, who was terribly frightened that I would not advance 

The Big house Papers. 91 

the money to Mr Calcraft, whom he commends extremely for 
his civihty and kindness to him in giving him money for neces- 
saries when he might have stopt his pay to reimburse himself. 
He talked in his letter of his honour and his character being lost 
at his first setting out in the world if this money is not paid, 
and as his uneasiness proceeded from an honest principle I was 
really sorry for him. But I have sice received a letter from him 
in answer to mine acquainting him that I had writt to Mr 
Drummond to take up his note from Mr Calcraft by paying him 
the money, and Sandie seems to be now as happy as he was 
before uneasy. His only concern now is the Inconveniency it 
might be to you to pay the money so soon, for he drew the Bill 
on you to Calcraft payable in ten days after sight, which I 
suppose Calcraft insisted on, and he gave him his note for the 
money, likewise acknowledging that he ow'd him so much, the 
sum is £252 lis Od. I have got up the note and have burnt it, 
and I have sent the Bill discharged on the back by Calcraft to 
Bank John, and have writt to him to settle the payment with 
you in the easiest and most convenient method for you in some 
time after this, for I am in no immediate want of the money, 
the cash comes in but slowly here ttis year. 

" I wish you would make enquiry whether two English 
gentlemen, supposed to be agents from the Pretr., have been 
lately in the Highlands with Cluny and others of that stamp, 
and whether Cameron the forester had seen those gentlemen. 
I have a reason for wanting to be particularly informed with 
regard to this last circumstance of Cameron, because something 
of that kind has been writt up here. I desire you would not 
paention this, but let me know as soon as possible what you can 
learn about it. Twa« said he had conducted them to Cluny. 
Adieu. — ^Yrs., " C ." 

Note. — ^Lord Glenorchy was appointed Master of His 
Majesty's Jewel Qj^ce in 1746. His 2nd wife was second 
daughtei* and co-heiress of Jchn Peishail, who predeceased his 
father, Sir Thomas Pershall, of Great Sugnall, in the County of 
Stafford, Bart. 

As to the '' two Enghsh gentlemen," it would be interesting 
to ascertain who they were; possibly Thomas Newton alias 
Major Kennedy, who appears to have been employed by the 
Prince in obtaining part of the Locharkaig Treasure for his 
requirements, was one of them. 


92 Gaelic Society of Inuerneas. 


Letter ftrom Baron Maule, one of the Barons of Exchequer, 
evidently to John Campbell of Barcaldine, and docqueted 
in the same handwriting as the other letters, " London, 
23rd Novr., 1747, Letter Baron Maule " : — 

" Argyle Street, 23rd Novr., 1747. 
" Sir, — ^I am favoured with yours of the 6th and has taken 
the first opportimity to mention your affair to the Duke of 
Argyll, and has since conversed with Ld. Glenorchy fully about 
it. Mr Pdham has been spoken to and is fully apprised how 
the matter stands, and if I am rightly uiformed that affair wiU 
soon be settled to your satisfaction. I think you judged right in 
not meeting Mr Bruce when he was on his survey, for tho' I'm 
persuaded you will both execute your trusts with fidehty, it 
might have been otherwise interpreted by people that are not 
your well-wishers. I am sorrie I had not the pleasm^e of seeing 
you at Inveraray and shou'd be glad to have it in my power to 
do you a good office. — Being very sincerely, sir, your most 
o))edient himible servant, (Sd.) " John Maule." 

Note. — The reference here is obviously to the appointment 
of Barcaldine and Glenure as Factors on the Forfeited Estates, 
viz. : — On the Perth Estates and those of Ardshiel, Callart, and 
Mamore respectively, on Lord Glenorchy's recommendation. 

" Mr Bruce," no doubt the Mr D. Bruce who was employed 
in 1749 to survey the Forfeited Estates, and is mentioned several 
times by Mr Lang, in " Pickle the Spy," as " an English official," 
"a Court Trusty," and sent in 1754 as a "spy upon a spy," 
known as " Cromwell." Mr Lang is also inclined to attribute 
to him a MS. Report on the Highlands of Scotland, which he 
found in the British Museum, and has recently edited. 


Letter from Captain Alexander Campbell, son of Barcaldine, 
to his Parents, the cover addressed to John Campbell of 
Barcaldine, Esq., at Dalfour, and docqueted " Camp at 
the Cape of Good Hope, 10 April, 1748. Letter Coll. 
Alexr. Campbell " : — 
'' My dear Parents, — I (iid myself the honour of writing you 
from all the places I had any opportimity since I left England, 
and have in aU my lettersi given you an account of all that hap- 
pened remarkable since we left England, and I have now sent 

The Bighouse Papers. 93 

you a particular Journal which I have kept of everything that 
has happen'd since we sailed from Spithead. We have met 
some homeward bound Dutch East Indiamen here, by whom 
we'll send home our letters. I think this is the most pleasant 
place I ever saw. We are to encamp here and stay for a month 
to refresh our Troops. We are most lucky in Admiral Bos- 
cowen for a Conmianding Officer, as I don't think there is a 
prettyer Gentleman in his Majestie s service. All the Gentle- 
men from Scotland are in very good health. I have only lost 
Donald Derg M'CoU of my Company since I sail'd, and have had 
very few sick, all the fellows I carried from the Coimtry with 
[me] are [in] good health and spirits. I hope by this time that 
you have gott the affair you was about when I left home settled, 
which God willing will putt you in a way to be able to do for us 
all, and I hope tho' I [am] absent and att a distance that I won t 
be forgot, if it be in your power to do anythuig for me, as I 
hope in God never to give you occasion to do otherways by [me]. 
I beg you'l excuse my being so bold as to put you in mind of 
any such thing, for it is not attal that I have any doubt of your 
doing all you can for me, but as it's very natural to suppose^ 
that those that are still at hand should be best minded, and 
most thought of, I have ventured to writ this to put you in 
mind of me, and I hope the next letters you have from me 111 
be able to send home what will buy [a] bit of land, if Admiral 
Griffin don't take Pont de Cherry before we get there, as it is 
very probable it may happen to, as it is just now blocked up by 
the Mogul by Land and by Admiral Griffin by Sea, I wish thaJb 
I had known so much of the state of our affairs before I went 
away as I do now, so that I might consult with you and Lord 
Glenorchy what I should do, whether I should come home or 
stay there, as it is said those who have a mind may come home 
on half-pay, which, to be sure, to me would be a very pretty 
competency to live on, especially if we are [to] get aaiy prize- 
money, but for all that, if I see there is any probability of 
making a fortune there in a few years, I'll stay, it is said that 
those that will stay are to have half -pay from the King and full 
pay from the Company, which will [be] near about £300 a year, 
besides 30 Rupees a month [of ?] stop Gelt, that is to pay for 
Lodgings, which, if it be true, and we can come home when we 
please on our half-pay, I think I can't do better than stay for a 
few years to try what luck I'll have, and nothing could hinder 
me from staying as things now stand, but being out of the way 
of preferment, and as I am in such a good way in the Army now. 

^^ Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

I daresay that you would wish to push me as fast forward as 
possible, I shall writ to Lord Glenorchy, to General and CoUonel 
Campbell— to Mr Campbell in the Bank, I shall add to his 
letter anything else I think worth notice that happens while I 
am here. 

"My dear Parents, I am oblige to end my letter soonner 
than we incline on account of the India Ships going away, so 
that I can't give you that accoimt of things as I would wish. 
Admiral Boecowen has appointed Capt. Jack Campbell to be his 
aide de camp, whoes merits you are too well acquainted with for 
mo to pretend to give you an accoimt of. I hear that there are 
some more Dutch Ships homward bound expected here soon, so, 
that I hope to have an opportunity of writing you yet before we 
sail from this place, and now I shall conclude, my dearest 
Parents, with my duty to Grandmama and all my Dr. Brothers 
and Sisters, and I ever will be your most obedient and dutiful 
son, (Sd.) " Alex. Campbell. 

" Camp at the Cape of Good Hope, 
"Aprile 10th, 1748." 


Letter from Captain Alexander Campbell, son of John of 
Barcaldine, to his parents. This letter and another, 
inside of which it is folded, are docqueted '' Fort St 
David's 12th and 15th Octr. 1748. Letter Coll. Alexr. 

" My Dear Parents, — We march'd from Fort St David's the 
Eight of August, for Pont de Cherry, the success we load, I dare- 
say, you'll soon hear- Our people behav'd well, both officers 
and men, with all the conduct and courage men could do, we 
miantain'd trenches for three weeks with small arms, and against 
shells and great guns, and if we had an Engineer and Triple our 
number of men might have taken the place, for sure never was 
there a man more abus'd than the General has been, to send him 
with a handful of men to attack a place with near the same 
nimiber of men within it that we had without. Our Battalion 
is to be, as I hear, quarter'd for the winter att a place called the 
Garden House within a mile of iFort St David's, the first batta^ 
lion at Cudelore, and the Marines are gone a board ship. This 
is the poorest country I ever was in, for there is neither meat 
nor drink to be got in it, and if we had not a Table found us by 
the India Company our pay would never do, and as for money 

The Bighouae Papers. 95 

if ever a man that has not a stock to set up with makes any in 
this damn'd country, I could suffer any besides one cringe to the 
Govemours, and I would see them as soon all at the Devil, &c., 
for I would — so I beg, if possible, you would change me into a 
marching Regiment, or anywhere but this curs'd country, besides 
the business I before wrote you of must require my bemg at 
home or else I shall lose considerably. I have hkewise writ my 
Lord Glenorchy of it, and all my Friends here think that it 
can't be so easily settled till I go home. I beUeve that by the 
time that this comes to your hand that their will be near Seventy 
Pound due to me by the Agent, which if you chuse you may 
call for by virtue off the power of Attorney I sent you. I 
expect as this letter goes by an Express that it will reach you 
before those I writ by Mr Griffin Squadron, therefore I 
send you a power of Attorney enclosed. All hopes of 
making anything in this coimtry may now be laid aside, so 
that all I need expect is to broil on here for a few years longer, 
and if I do get home then I shall never be fit for anything, but 
I'll add no more upon that head, as I know when you receive my 
letters by the last fleet that sailed youl make all the interest you 
can to get me chang'd, for I assure you that I never will throw 
up the bread I have tiU I be sure of better, tho' I might now 
live very happilie on that money, for 130 pound a year is no 
despicable thing, yet if I had 1000 per annum I would still 
follow the army, for if I were in Europe I might have some 
chance of dicing in a tolerable Rank in the Army as I got what 
I have so young, whereas by staying in this country I have not 
the least chance of ever being higher than I now am, so I beg 
youl push your interest to trv and get me chang'd if possible. 
Don't spare a Httle money for 1 now, thank God, by that Legacy 
am able to pay you all that I ever cost you in any way whatever. 
" Poor John Hahburton, Petcur's brother, was killed the 
very day we arriv'd before Pont de Cherry, by one of our own 
Blaisksihe was the cleverest fellow by far the Company had in 
this Country : in short, he was fit for anything, he [was] equally 
Statsman, Soldier, and Mercant, never was man more regretted 
than he was, and every day we miss him more and more, he 
died, I beheve, worth some money, but what I can't say, for he 
sustain'd great loss at Madras. Poor Colin Campbell, Cars- 
zonie's son, was likewise kill'd there. My Colin wounded and 
Captain Forbes lost his leg and best pairt of his thigh by a 
bomb-shell, but I hope he'll recover. Dugald MaodonaJd, all 
the rest of our Scotch officers, both from the North and Argyle- 

96 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

shire, are in good health, save one Kenneth Mackenzie, in whos 
place we have got one James Ogilby, a son of Sir James Ogilby's, 
in the shire of Angus. I shall conclude this sheet with assuring 
you that I ever am, my Dear Parents, yovir most Dutiful Son, 

" Alex. Campbell. 
'' Fort St David's 

" October 12th, 1748." 
Note. — ^For further details see next letter and note ap- 

NO. xxxin. 

Letter from Captain Alexander Campbell, son of John Camp- 
bell of Barcaldine, to his parents. The docquet men- 
tioned under No. xxxii. is on the back of this letter, 
which covers No. xxxii. 
" My dear Parents, — ^I shall in this sheet give you a little 
sketch of our proceedings in this country. We sail'd from the 
Cape of Good Hope the eight of May, and after a most tedious 
passage with a continued Tenour of bad weather for near three 
weeks we mad the Island of Moritias the 23rd of June, 24th in 
the morning anchored in Turtle Bay. Ovir ships as they went 
in exchanged some shot with the Enemy's small forts that 
guarded the entrance of the Harbour. We anchored within 
large cannon shot of the shore, opposed to 2 batteries of 6 gims 
each : they fired a few shots at the ' Pembroke,' which she 
returned. This evening two of our Engineers went to recon- 
oitre the coast, and find out a proper place for landing the 
Troops : 25 in the morning a Councill of War on Board the 
Admiral's : 26 another Coimcill, in which it was determined not 
to attack the place: 27 got all things readv for weighing : 28 in 
the morning weighed and the Dutch Conmiodore with his fleet 
separated. We [had] a charming passage from Moritias to 
Fort St David's where we arriv'd the 27 of July. 

" In this Koad we met with Rear Admiral Griffin's Squad- 
ron: 28 had orders to make ready for landing att an hour's 
warning: 29 landed some Horse: 30 landed two Battalions of 
Independents, and encamped on a plain about a mile and half 
from Fort St David's: 30 and 31 also landed the Marines of 
both Squadrons, and the Company of the Train of Artillery : 
2nd August Draught four Companies of Granadiers : 3, 4, 5, 6 
nothing extraordinary : 7 we had orders to strick [camp] : the 
8th by Daybreak, Decamp'd and march about a 2 miles: this 
Pay we were join'd by the India Company : 9, 10, 11 continued 

The Bighouse Papers. 9,7 

of our march : 11th in the evening our puns [this w(wd " puns" 
is probably for "peons," foot soldiers in India, pronounced 
"punes"] got possession of some entrenchment the enemy had 
by a [?] Chaultiy, this night the army lay the whole night on 
their arms : 12 in the mom the Army encamped : 13 about four 
o'clock in the morning the Grauadiers of our Army with the 
Pickets of the line were [ % ordered] imder the command of Major 
Mompessant to attack a small fort called Aroooapan : they lost 
a good many men kill'd and wound'd, we had one officer killed, 
one mortally wounded who died next day, poor C(^n Campbell 
my 1st Lieutenant was shot throw the thigh but is now just 
recover'd, as was Mr Rose throw the shoulder, who is likewise 
recovered, that evening we lay on our arms out of cann<m readi 
of Arcocapan, and next day being 14th encamp'd, this day the 
seamen landed anH some guns from the ships, and in the night 
we broke before Arcocapan: 15, 16 nothing extraordinary: 
this night we began our battery: 17 on the night we were 
attacked by a party of French puns, who made our woi^men 
run away and put the covering party in some confusion, but 
Captain Robt. Gordon of the Scotch Company raUied a few men, 
I IJiink 30 att most, fir'd on the enemy, beat them back and put 
all things to rights again: 18 nothing extraordinary: 19 about 
9 o'clock a party of 50 Horse saUied out <m our trenches sup- 
ported by a party of foot, their orders was if possible to nail up 
our guns, but after a pretty smart skirmish they were r^puis'd : 
we lost some men killed, Major Lawrence belcmging to the India 
Company and Captain Bruce of our Companys were -taken 
prisoners, we took a Capt. of Horse and troopers of the «iemy 
and they left a good many men on the ground, this evening we 
blew up and abandoned the fort: 20, 21 the Indian and first 
Battalion of Independents remov'd their camp close under Arco- 
capan, and we began to repair the damage done by blowing up 
the place: 22, 23, 24, 25, nothing extraordinary: 26 in the 
morning decamped and crossed the River on the other sidee of 
the Fort, and drew in order of battle, and march'd, so all day 
the enemy fir'd a few guns out of the wood att us but did no 
damage. This evening poor John Haliburton was killed by one 
of our Blacks: he died much regreted by every body, and our 
Battalion with the Battalion of marines were ordered to go under 
the commajld of Major Mompessant to support Major Mtiir with 
four companies of Granadeers who were ordered [to attack] some 
entrenchments the enemy had in there on the skirts of the 
wood, but they abandoned them upon seeing us advance: 27 


98 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

nothing extraordinary : 28 the enemy threw some shells into our 
camp, which oblig'd [ua] the next day to remove att a greater 
distance: 29 this day the Town play'd pretty warm on our 
advance Guard but Idll'd only one man, this day had our Cannon 
brought from Aroocapan in the night, and threw up a lodgment 
to cover our men at the [ ?] Barraer : 30 they play'd very smartly 
on us; and at night 300 men were order'd to cover a party of 
workmen under the direction of Mr Turner one of our Engeneerg 
to break ground before Pont de Cherry and by 2 in tne morning 
we threw up a cover for 300 men: we had not the least dis- 
turbance till daylight, when they began to play very hot with 
shells and shot, and about 7 a party of their puns sallied out 
and [i.a of] a smal redout we thrown up ia a village ia the front 
of our entrenchments, where there was an o£&cer and forty men 
advanced. Our people were oblig'd to retire to the trenches and 
about . . . retum'd soon after and took possession again 
of the village: we had a skirmish again in the afternoon, in 
which we lost a few men and 2 officers, and the enemy lost 
upwards of 28 men and an officer in the field and 130 men 
wounded and several officers. Thursday first Sept. the Town 
ffired] great numbers of shot and sheUs but did very little 
damage; from the 2nd to the 9th nothing extraordinary, con- 
tinued our entrenchment: 9th came in three French deserters: 
10th poor Capt. Forbes of the Second Battalion had his right 
1^ diot off, and in the night we begun the blind of our Grand 
Battery : we finished the bhnd of the 8 gun Battery and begun 
that of the four gun, and begun to lay the foundation of our 
Battery's: 12th, 13th, 14th nothing extraordinary: 15th the 
Pickets were to the waterside to sustain our escort, which was 
said to be attacked by the French, this day poor Colin Campbell, 
Carszonie's son, was mortally wounded, he lived for 10 days. 
16 did nothing on account of the rains, finished one of three 
Batterys in the night all to the platforms and raised the Grand 
Battery s a good deal: 17th and 18th did little or nothing on 
account of the rains: 19th our two Grand Batterys were 
finished all to the platforms : 20th laid our platforms, and made 
magazins: 21st carryd down eight 24 pounders and mounted 
them this night, the Bomb Batterys were begun: 22nd the 
French surpris'd oair waterside party and carr/d off 2 24 
pounders, but we sav'd all the ammunition and in the morning 
landed and brt>ught up to Camp two more guns : 24th att night 
levell'd the Blind and got all the things ready to open in the 
morning: 25th in the morning the Batteries opened att Si?: 

The Bighouae Papers. 99 

o'clock : 26 and 27 the ships play'd on the town : 28 ships ceas'd 
firing : 29 nothing extraordinary : 30 a Councill of war, in which 
it was determined to raise the Siege, it being impossible to 
pursue it, the Season of the year being so far advano'd: from 
thence to the 6 of Octr. was employed in embarking the Stores. 
Oct. 6 in the morning the whole army march back for Fort St 
Davids and arrived safe there the 7th at night, the Marins are 
gone aboard ship, the first Battalion [viz., of Independent Cos.] 
is quartered at Cudalore, and ours at the Garden house : this is 
a most oonfus'd account, and I am afraid that you can scarcely 
make any sense of it, but if I have the good luck ever to get 
home to you I shall give you a more particular account of 
everything* Our General and all the Army behav'd as well as 
men could do, I am almost blind with writing so I shall conclude 
witL begging my compliments to all friends and that youl use 
your endeavours to get me into a Marching R^ment if possible 
for I'd almost as soon live in Hell as in India, so with my duty 
[to] Grandmanmia, and the children, I ever am, my Dr. 
Parents, Your most dutifuU and most affecte. Son, 

" Alex. Campbell. 

" Fort St Davids, Oct. 15th, 1748. 

" P.S. — The young Gentleman we got into our Company is a 
son of Sir John Ogilvie of Inverwharrity's. " A. C." 

Note. — The writer of the above was a young Captain, 
described by Lord Glenorchy as follows: — " Tho' but sixteen 
years old he served as a volunteer in the Argyllshire Militia ?t 
his own expense during the whole RebeUion, where his behavi- 
our was such as procured Mm a Company in the Expedition to 
ye East Indies under Admiral Bosoowen." Consequently at the 
date of this letter he must have been barely 20 years of age. 
He was subsequently appointed Major in the 1st Highland Bat- 
talion," or "Montgomery's Highlanders," when it was raised — 
-date of his commission, 7th January, 1757 — ^and embarked for 
Halifax in 1758. This regiment, along with the 1st Battalion 
42nd, took part in the expedition against Fort du Quesne, and, 
after its capture, in the taking of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. 
It was reduced in 1763, but Major Alexr. Campbell was 
appointed Lieut.-Col. in Burton's regiment (probably the 3rd 
Buffs) in 1761, and Col. in the army, 9th August, 1777. 

The Marine Battalion here mentioned must have been one 
of the old regiments of Marines, raised about 1739-1748. The 
Marines of the present day date from 1755, when the British 
Infantry had been reduced to 49 regiments, and, as the R.M. 
Light Infantry, had its place in the line between the 49th and 

100 Gaelic Societq of Inverness. 

50th regiments. The old 50th, raised in 1745, was disbanded 
in 1757, when an old 52nd, raised in 1755, became the 50th, 
and the Royal Marines took precedence ; the designation " Light 
Infantry" was given a century after it was raised. 

Chaultry, perhaps " Sortie." Memo. — ^DimstafiEna^e wrote 
me that there is a word Chaultry used in Madras for a PoUce 
Station or a piece of ground surrounded by pretty high walls; 
but I don't see how a word with that meaning suits the context. 


Letter from Colin Campbell of Glenure to his brother, John 
Campbell of Barcaldine, addressed to the latter at Crieff, 
to the care of Robert Campbell, merchant at Stirling, 
another brother, and docqueted " 20th October, 1748- 
Letter Cohn Campbell of Glenure." 

Gleniure, 20th October, 1748. 
" Dr. Broyr, — ^I intended to have writt you to Crief fair,, 
butt miss'd an opportunity ; as I sappose youl have occasion to 
remitt mon^ to Edr. att or about Martinmass, would you pay 
a Bill of one hunder and eighty odd pounds I'm due to the Royal 
Bank, and bring my Bill home wt. you, I would be obliged to 
you, and thankfidly repay you when you came home, or if you 
desir'd to pay the money to any in this country sooner would do 
it, the plain reason why I offer you this trouble is that could I 
help it, I don't like sending so much money by a servant from 
this country to Edr. for fear of accidents, and as you'l either go 
wt. your mcMiy yourself or send a sufficient convoy all would be 
snugg and safe, I only mean this in case you are to bring homo 
a sum of Perthshire cash equali to my BiQ, which I daresay you 
will, or that you have any money to pay sooner in this country 
than your own return. 

" Be so good by first post after this arrives to lett me know 
if I can depend on your paying this Bill, that in' case you can't 
I may take anoyr method of paying it. It may be a loss shou'd 
I be obliged to take any oyr methode before I have your 
answere, which I'll expect in course of post by Edr. and Inver- 
ary if no oyr sure hand offers. I daresay my sister has writt 
you that poor Ladie Keithock is dying. I think she may be 
hurried wtout your comeing off the head of your Business att so 
critical a time. Pray let me hear anything you know of poor 
Dungallon's fate how [who] I'm' told has or will be soon tried 
and how Sandie is. There is peace and tranquilhty here. — 
Yours, &c., "Colin Campbell. 

The Bighouse Papets. 101 

" If you go to Edr. will you enquire if the Treasury's answer 
is come to the Barrons about my nominations and if it is I 
expect you'll get my Commission exspede and sent me if possible 
before Martinmas, which you know will be narrowly watched in 
my neighbourhood to finger the rents. If I'm to give a Bond, 
it may be given to Sandie Robison, how [who] will send it me 
by the post to be sign'd. I believe Ballevoll will join me in the 

" I hope you'll send me as distinct an answere as I sent you 
from London when you employ'd me to agent and get the Com- 
mission in as good a form as you can if you ommitted , anything 
in your own, I hope you'll get i1^ rectifyed in mine, my powers 
wou'd require to be ample in so remote and uncivilized a comer 
as Lochaber. — ^Yours, " Colin Campbell." 

Notes. — ^Loudoun's Highlanders, in which Glenure held a 
Commission as Captain, were disbanded at Perth in June, 1748 ; 
apparently about that date both John of Barcaldine and Colin 
of Glenure were recommended for appointments as Factors on 
forfeited estates, the former on that of the Duke of Perth (and 
his Commission had been made out before this letter was writ- 
ten), the latter on certain estates in Lochaber and Appin, as 
mentioned in a Note to Letter XXX. The simis of money 
referred to were probably rents for which they were accountable, 
though there seems to have been some delay in making Glenure's 
appointment owing • to a claim made on behalf of Alexander 
Stewart, a minor, eldest son of Charles Stewart, the attainted 
laird of Ardshiel, to succeed to the estate, which was ultimately 
rejected. Glenvire's commission as factor on the forfeited estat^ 
of Ardshiel, Callart, and Mamore was dated 23rd February, 
1749, but a letter from him to James Stewart of Acham, dated 
8th November, 1748, intimates that his appointment was made. 

Dimgallon : Cameron of DimgaUon was nearly related to the 
Lochiel family, and Dr Archibald C, Lochiel's ^ brother, was 
married to a daughter of C. of Dungallon. 

Campbell of Keithock was a brother of Barcaldine's wife. 


Letter from Charles Areskine of Alva (Lord Tinwald) to 
Barcalden, addressed to " Mr Campbell of Barcalden at 
Crieff," and docqueted " Aberdeen, 13 April, 1749, Letter 
Mr Charles Arskine." 

"Aberdeen, April 13, 1749. 
" Sir, — I have a particular reason for beging you may with- 
out losing time writte to your friends, such of them as you can 

102 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

trust to feel the pulses of your neighbours in the West High- 
lands, if they are in expectations of their old Guest, who was 
very weary of his quarters? if any of those concerned in the 
RebeUion are lately returned from France? and in general what 
state they are in? You may be sure giving you this trouble has 
a meaning, and yet I do not fear any mischieff, therefore let as 
little noise be made as possibla Invera I suppose may have 
some directions from ms superiors, however you may speak to 
him to assist in getting intelligence; and if anything occur that 
is material. I shall be at Inverness on the 22nd and remain 
there about a week, so if you have anything before I leave it 
you may send it to me by express. I salute our friends and I 
am D. Sr. sincerely your obedient most humble servt., 

" Barcalden. . " Ch. Ajreskine. ' 

Notes. — Prince Charhe visited England and was in London 
for 5 days, but not till Sept. 1750. Some of his friends were in 
Scotland in the winter of 1749, including Lochgarry, and also 
Dr Archd. Cameron, who visited Climy in his retreat and got 
from him a sum of 6000 louis-d'ors, for which he granted him a 
receipt. There seems some groimd for believing that the doctor . 
was made a tool of by some person, who handed him a forged 
order, purporting to be signed by the Chevalier James to get 
his money, but none to show that the doctor appropriated any 
part of it; the money probably was partly expended in the 
Prince's interest and partly apphed to defray the doctor's own 

Invera: Captain Duncan Campbell of Invera we was at this 
time a Captain in " the Black Watch ; " he was killed as a Major 
at Ticonderoga in 1758. 


Letter from Colin Campbell of Glenure to his brother, John 
Campbell of Barcaldine, docqueted " Achmore, 5th May, 
1749, Letter Colin Campbell.'' 

"Achmore, Monday, 5th May, 1749. 
" Dr. Broyr, — I had yours this morning, I should be ex- 
tremely happy to have your Company home, but I think I need 
not tell you how necessary it's for me to see what's adoing att 
Gleniure, which I can do from Dalfiur once I gett there, and a 
week is valuable this time of year for one how [who] has wrights 
and masons to employ: which obliges me to hurry here as fast 
as I can. Edinchip is here. I had a conference with him, he 
has agreed frankly to the terms Achallader and I concerted and 

The Bighouse Papers. 103 

wliich I brought with me from Taymouth in writing, to which 
I refer you, as Achallader can inform you of them, only wb 
made the provision for Daughters in case of no Heirs male of 
the Marriage thus: If but one Daughter 4000 mks., if two 5000 
mks., if more than two 7000 mks. to be divided as is thoujgrht 
fit. I think it as much as cou'd be taken of the Lairdship, and 
I think it more equal than the former way, which in case of a 
nimiber of young Ladies might exaust the whole estate, which 
for my own nart I wou'd not desire. My Broyr Duncan was 
present to the whole, who is satisfy ed as I hope Achallader and 
you will be. Edinchip is to send his papers to Edr. as thev 
must be had to desisrne the lands in the contract of marriage. 
I hope as you are in the country you'i see all ended before you 
go, and I'll do the best I can for you att home. If you are 
obHdged to go I don't think it matters much since everything is 
concerted, as Achallader and Duncan will see it ended right 
enough, and I daresay wou'd have done so, tho' we had been 
necessarly out of the way from first. 

" I heartily wish they were now buckled. You'l please give 
this to Achallader as I'm just going of, and have not time to 
write him. — ^I ever am. Dr. Broyr., Yours, &c., 

" Colin Campbell. 

" P.S. — After closing this I have gott a smart reprimand 
for neglecting your sister's most Dutiful respects to Achallader 
and you, which gives you the trouble of this postscrip." 

Note. — The following words are added, but apparently in a 
different handwriting — " Remember moveables or something in 
Heu of it." 

This letter appears to have been written from Achallader's 
house at Achmore, when Glenure was on his way to Dalfure, 
enar Barcaldine, shortly after his visit to Bighouse, and appar- 
ently his brother Barcaldine intended soon going to Dalfure also 
from Crieff. The marriage contract referred to was evidently 
that of Campbell of Edindiip, who married Jean, sister of Bar- 
caldine and of Glenure, and sister-in-law of Achallader. Glenure 
had availed himself of the services of Achallader shortly before, 
prboably in April of the same year (1749) with regard to his 
own marriage. Among the family papers is a long and inter- 
esting account! of the visit of Achallader to the house of the 
Hon. Hugh Mackay of Bighouse, accompanied by Glenure, and 
of the interviews that took place first between Achallader aad 
Bighouse, and afterwards between the latter and Glenure, as to 
the terms of the marriage settlement: the same difficulty was 

104 Qaelio Society of Inverness. 

discussed, viz., the most suitable provisions to be made for 
daughters without overburdening the estate. Ultimately it was 
referred to two mutual friends to decide. Glenure married the 
joimg lady, Bighouse's eldest daughter, on 9th May of the same 
year, a few days after the date of this letter : but as there were 
only 4 days between the 5th and the 9th, there seems to be 
some mistake in the dates, unless in one case new style and in the 
other old style dates are given. 


Letter from Archibald Campbell, Sheriff Depute of Argyll, 
to John Campbell of Barcaldine, Esq. ; so addressed, and 
docqueted "Inveraray, 31 May, 1749. Letter Archi- 
bald Campbell." 
" Sir, — The first general meeting of the Commissioners of 
Supply is by Act of Parliament appointed to be held upon the 
first of Jime next. But as the Act is only very lately come to 
hand, and we must take a great time to give the necessary inti- 
mations in the remote parts of this shire, it was judged very 
imexpedient to hold the meeting till the 21st of June, when 
your presence will be necessary to concurr with the other com- 
missioners for making the land tax effectual for the current 
year. — I am, sir, your most obedient and humble servant, 

" Arch. Campbell, Sh. De. 
"Inveraray, 21 May, 1749." 

Note. — Archibald Campbell of Stonefield was for many 
years Sheriff Depute of Argyll. 


Letteh from Archibald Campbell, Sheriff of Argyll, to John 
Campbell of Barcaldine, Esq. ; so addressed, and doc- 
queted same as the preceding one. 

"Inveraray, 31st May, 1749. 
" Dear Sir, — The meeting of the Commissioners of Supply is 
to be on the 21st Jime, the Commissioners of Valuation is to 
meet at the same time, so that your presence is necessary. 

" There is a Report that I am to be attack'd with regard to 
some little excrescences of cess in the division. of Kintyre intro- 
initted with by me, and every Collector since the Revolution, 
and even prior to 1685, and none of them ever called to account 
for it, so that they think to treat me in a singular manner. This 
oblidges me to desire the attendance of all my friends, amongst 

The Big house Papers. 105 

which nuniber I justly reckon you among the foremost, that 
justice may be done. 

"I am. sensible of the consequence of having men of discre- 
tion and interest as well as numbers to settle this matter, and 
therefore must not only intreat that you come yourself, but that 
you will likewise move all your friends to attend. 

" You know Glenure, Auchenaba, Baleveolan, Finglen and 
Corry are Commissioners, you will be so good as write or speak 
to them to attend, M'Dougall is also Commissioner so is Melfort 
and Carquhin. 

" I shall be very fond to see you here the night before the 
meeting that we may have some Conference on the subject as it 
is probably the first business that will come before the meeting. 
I hope it will be the more easie for you to come as you have this 
timely advertisement. 

" I intended to have spoke to you of this matter at Edinr. 
but that I unluckily miss'd you when you was going out of 
town. — I ever am Dr. Cousin your affcte. friend and most 
liimible Servt., "Arch. Campbell." 


Memorial for Barcaldine and Glenure. [This is so doc- 
queted: it is written in the third person, and is without 
date, but probably belongs to 1750 or 1751.] 

" Lord Glenorchy having heard with equal surprise and 
•concern that Mr Campbell of Barcaldine and Mr Campbell of 
Glenure, whom he recommended to be Factors of some of the 
Forfeited Estates in Scotland, have been represented as not well 
affected to the Government, he thinks it incumbent upon him 
to vindicate them from those false aspersions. 

" Mr Campbell of Barcaldine, Factor of the Perth Estate is 
a Gentleman of a pretty good Estate. He has taken the oaths 
upon several occasions as a Justice of the Peace in Argyllshire 
and in Perthshire as a Commissioner of Supply and as a Deputy 

" He has in no instance of his life ever given the cause 
for suspicion of his being a Jacobite, but on the contrary has 
given the strongest and repeated proofs of his attachment to 
the Government and has been always distinguished for his zeal 
for it* 

" Mr Campbell of Barcaldine was the first man in Britain 
who drew his sword agst. the Rebells in the year 1745. A 
party of them croes'd an arm of the Sea and carried away somd 

106 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

people from the aide where his Estate is, in order to force th^n 
into the Rebellion, Mr Campbdl with his servts. and some of 
his bravest Tenants persued them in his own Boat so dose tho' 
in the ni^^t that upon landing they abandcm'd their prisoners, 
ana he brought them back with him. 

" The consequence of this bold and early opposition to the 
Rebels by a private Gentleman was that above Thirty persons 
came to him for protection from them. These he maintain'd 
for a considerable time at his own expence. They all after- 
wards enter'd into the Argyllshire MaHtiae, and many of them 
fought under the Dukes command at Culloden, and receiv'd 
his Royal Highness s thanks for their behaviour. Mr Campbell 
was going himself to oflFer his Service to the Duke, but was 
employed by General Campbell where that General thought he 
could be more useful. 

When the Rebells beseiged Blair Mr Campbell of Bar- 
caldine proposed to Lord Crawford to march to the relief of it, 
and oflFer'd to conduct the Hessdan troops by a way avoiding 
the famous pass of Gilliekrankie, so much apprehended by them. 
He sent upon that occasion the best InteUigence of any the Duke 
received, which was remembered by his Royal Highness when 
Mr Campbell was afterwards presented to him. 

" Mr Campbell's Son, tho' but sixteen years old served as a 
Volunteer in the Argyllshire Militiae at his own expence, dur- 
ing the whole Rebellion, where his oehaviour was such as pro- 
cured him a Company in the Expedition to ye East Indies 
imder Admiral Boscowen. 

" He had likewise two nephews educated imder his care, who 
distinguished themselves in a very remarkable manner, and 
being taken Prisoners were sent into France for refusing to sign 
a Parole not to carry arms against the Pretender, where they 
remained till the Cartel was settled. 

" Mr Campbell of Barcaldine has not the least Connection 
nor Relation to any of the forfeited persons. Since Mr Camp- 
bell became Factor of the Perth Estate he has made a surprising 
alteration in that oountrey by living amongst them (as all the 
Factors should do) and keeping a constant eye over their 
actions, by which means he will in a very few years bring them 
to be as good subjects as any in His Majesty's Dominions, which 
he looks upon to be of greater service to the Government, tho' 
much more troublesome and expensive to himself, than barely 
collecting the Rents, a Point which most of the Factors only 
attend to. 

The^Bighouse Papers, 107 

" Lord Glenorchy could mention many' more well known 
Circumstances in vindication of Mr Campbell of Barcaldine's 
Character, but will only add that the profit that Gentleman has 
yet made of the Factory has not paid the expence he was at in 
the service of the Goverment during the late RebelUon, and 
Lord Glenorchy is convinced from the long knowledge he has of 
Mr Campbell that there are few in Scotland so proper in every 
respect for the Business he is employed in, and none more 
zealous for the Government. 

"As to Mr Campbell of Gleneure (half-brother to Mr 
Campbell of Barcaldine). He is a Factor of only that part of 
the Estate of late Cameron of Locheil which holds of the Duke 
of Gordon, and of the very small estate of Stewart of Ardsheil. 
Another Campbell, whom Lord Glenorchy does not at all know, 
is Factor of the other part of Locheil's estate, holding of the 
Duke of Argyll, and of the Estate of Macdonald of Kinloch- 

" Mr Campbell of Gleneure is a Gentleman of known Honour 
and Loyalty. He was an Officer in the Armv abroad, where he 
behaved well in his station, and upon the Peace retired to his 
own Estate, and is married to a niece of Lord Rae, whose 
Family (as are the Mackays in general) has been always Whig. 

" Mr Campbell of Gleneure is, indeed, related by his mother 
to Cameron of Locheil' s family, and a handle was taken from 
thence to insinuate that he acted in everything in concert with 
Cameron of Fassefem, brother of late Locheil, who, not having 
been openly in the Rebellion, lives at home. But after the 
strictest Inquiry made by the Barons of the Exchequer in Scot- 
Jiand, his conduct was in every step approved, and the Falshood 
and Mahce of his accusers evidently appeared. 

" Mr Campbell of Gleneure is at the greatest variance with 
Cameron of Fassefem. He has brought several well affected 
Tenants into that part of the Estate of Locheil, of which he is 
Factor, and is daily bringing in more, which makes him hated 
by the people of that country, and is the true cause of his being 
accused privately by those who cannot do it openly. 

" Upon the whole, as Lord Glenorchy would not have recom- 
mended Mr Campbell of Barcaldine and Mr Campbell of Glen- 
eure, if he had not been thoroughly sure, not only of their being 
well affected to the Government, but likewise of their being 
every way fitt for that employment, where knowledge of the 
Countrey and Resolution are requisite. He will venture thd 
loss of Mr Pelham's good opinion, which he highly values, if 


108 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

upon a fair and impartial Enquiry those Gentlemen's Principles 
are not found to be perfectly right. 

" It being reported that Marybourg, near Fort-William, is 
inhabited by Jacobites by the allowance of Hamilton the 
Factor, Nephew of Hamilton, who commanded the Rebels at 
Carlisle, and it being "also said that the very man who com- 
manded the party which burnt the Barrack of Inversnaid has 
now a farm near that Barrack, and that the Tenants all roimd 
are Jacobites, as well as the Factor himself, who is married to a 
daughter of late Lord Nairn, a notorious Jacobite family, Lord 
Olenorchy thinks it proper to observe that Marybourg does not 
belong to the Crown, but is the property of the Duke of Gordon, 
and that Hamilton is the Duke of Gordon's Factor. 

" The countrey likewise about the Barrack of Inversnaid 
does not belong to the Crown, but to the Duke of Montrose; 
and the Factor there is the Duke of Montrose's Factor, so sup- 
posing these representations to De true, they no ways relate to 
the Factors for the Crown." 

Note. — Hamilton was Governor of Carlisle, and sm-rendered 
with the small garrison left by the Prince on his retreat from 
England into Scotland, on 30th December, 1745. The garrison 
were not at once put to the sword, but reserved for the King's 

NO. XL. 

Letter from Captain Alexander Campbell, son of John 
Campbell of Barcaldine, to his uncle [evidently Dimcan, 
, who was afterwards of Glenure] ; docqueted " Glenure, 
25th May, 1752. Letter Coll. Alexr. Campbell." 
** Dr. Sir, — ^The indos'd was put into my hands in bed this 
morning about 7 o'clock, the unhappy situation of affairs, I 
hope, will excuse my breaking it open. Phasanacloich has not 
been att home ever since this melancholy accident, I believe he 
is in Perthshire, and most probably amongst the Stewarts of 
Atholl. He was seen with Allan Breck, and stayed with him 
all Munday night att Balecheliss, and travell'd with him on 
Teusday to Port Callart, none but he, I mean young Phasana- 
cloich, in company: there are several other concurring circum- 
stances too tedious to mention here that maJces it highly 
probable Phasanacloich knew every step intended : Particularly 
his refusing to go att his unde, the Notairs desire to meet 
Glenuir, and endeavour to keep aU things quiet, and I am sure 
Breck is such a fellow as could not conceal his intentions from 

The Bighouse Papers. 10^ 

Phasanacloich when they were so long together without the 
least interruption. I have order'd the man on Lapenamart 
[Lubnamairt] and his maid to be brought here, and am in hopes 
of making some discoveries from them as I am credibly informed 
there is a great connection betwixt him and Breck and the 
whole Damned Race : I am certain we have the principal actors 
in custody, God Almighty, of his infinite mercy, grant their 
villany may come to light. I have likewise sent a proper man 
into Glenooe that I hope will be able to gett us pretty exact 
intelligence, and beg my Duty in the kindest manner to my 
Aunt and best wishes to the young Laird. — ^Ever am, Dr. Sir, 
your most affec. nephew and very humble servant, 

"Alexr. Campbell. 

" Glenuir, May 25th, 1752. 10 o'clock ^.m. 

" I think there ought [to be] a search made for Phasana- 
cloich as he is not at home, and we have a warrant against 
him. " A. C." 

Note. — " Munday night " : — Monday was thel 1 1th May, on 
the night of which Allan Breck and young Phasanacloich were 
at Ballachulish. Breck went to Callart and thence to Glencoe 
on Tuesday. Glenure was murdered <». the evening of Thurs- 
day, 14th May. " Lupenamart " : — Angus Maclontosh was 
innkeeper at Luibnamairt. 

NO. XU. 

" Scroll Minute of Procedure in Glenure's affairs and 
Recommendation to Duncan Campbell, Sheriff Subst., 
by the ffriends wtin named." 23rd June, 1752. [This 
date should be 13th June]. 
" At Glenure the 13th day of June one thousand seven 
hundred and fifty two years. The ffriends and relations of the 
deceast Colin Campell of Glenure viz. Hugh Mackay of Big- 
house, William BaiUie of Rosehall, John Mackay of Tordarroch, 
John Campbell of Barcaldine and Duncan Campbell one of the 
Sheriff Substitutes of Perthshire having conveened and inspected 
the writes evidents and Securities which pertained to and were 
found in the Repositorys of the said Deceast Colin Campbell, 
made upon Inventarys thereof and of the Stocking of Cattle 
which pertained to the said Colin Campbell, presently on the 
fanmas of Glenure and Glendurer as the Particidar Inventary of 
the said writes as well relating to the ffactory held by the said 
Colin Campbell as other writes pertaining to him and found in 

110 Qaelic Society of Inverness, 

his repositorys and List or Inveaitary of the saids Stock of 
Oattle, the severall Docquets subscribed by us of this date sub- 
joined to the saids severall Inventarys and Lists of Cattle, And 
flfurther reoommend to the said Duncan Campbell to use the 
same Diligence as in his own affairs in Recovering paymt. of the 
Bills DeUvered to him by and jffor which lus receipt and 
obhgemt. stands with me, the said John Campbell, and to lay 
out whatever money he may judge necessary to be debursed in 
detecting and prosecuting or in usii^ ways and means to detect 
and prosecute the murderers of the said deceast Colin Campbell, 
and in carrying out the managemant of his ffarms and Estate, 
which we hereby ay and while the succession of the Estate of 
Glenure is declared committ to the management of the said 
Dimcan Campbell, and in generall we authorize the said Duncan 
Campbell to ffoUow ffurth and pursue during the space fforsaid 
every plan and scheme that may tend to the improvement and 
be considered as prudent management of the Estate BeaU and 
personall which pertain'd to the said deceast Colin Campbell, 
Providing the same does not in the least tend to impair any part 
thereof, or change the nature of the securitys ffrom heretable to 
moveable or moveable to Heretable, and we subscribe these 
presents written by Mungo Campbell writer in Edinr. place and 
date foresaid." 

Note. — The Inventory above referred to is headed " Inven- 
tory of Bills and other papers due to and Lodged in Trust with 
Glenure and found in his repository." 

Most of the bills and accounts are for small amoimts granted 
by tenants. There are a few of comparatively old date, one 
dated 17th Jime, 1730, granted by a tenant for £6 Scots, in 
favour of Patrick Campbell of Barcaldine, and another granted 
by another tenant to the same for £3 Scots, both payable on 
demand. Another bill, dated 7th January, 1737, granted by 
Mary Campbell, relict of the deceast Alexr. Campbell of Bar- 
caldine, to Alexr. Campbell, son to Barcaldine, for £10 10s 
sterlg., payable Peby. then next. There are also mentioned two 
bundles of discharged accounts and tickets. 

The dooquet at foot is as follows, viz. : — 

" The above and two preceding pages is an exast Inventary 
of the Bills and other papers therein referred to and whereof the 
numbers are marked on the margin of the Inventary and are *I1 
Delivered to the Keeping and for recovering of the Contents ffor 
behoof of all concerned to Diuican Campbdl, one of the Sheriff- 


The Big house Papers. Ill 

Substitutes of Perthshire, who with us the other flfriends and 
relations of Glenure, viz., Hugh Mackay of Bighouse, WilH^in 
Baillie of Rosehall, John Mackay of Tordar|:och and John 
Campbell of Barcaldine have examined and compared the same, 
He being always obliged to redeliver them and aocott. for his 
Intromissions therewt. as accords. And the said Duncan Camp- 
bell and we subscribe this Docquet at Glenure the Twenty third 
Day of June lajvijC and fifty two years Before these witnesses 
Donald Campbell younger of Ballevolan and John Campbell 
youngetr of Raghray and John Campbell Elder of Ballevolswi. 

" sd. Donald Campbell witness. " sd. Jo. Campbell. 

" sd. John Campbell witness. " sd. John Mackay. 

" sd. Hugh Mackay. 
" sd. Will. Baillie. 
" sd. Dun. Campbell." 

Notes. — Glenduror — ^As to Glenduror, see Letter No. lxiv. 

Mungo Campbell was a natural son of John of Barcaldine: 
he accompanied Glenure on his fatal expedition, was with him 
when he was murdered, and exclaimed, " The villain has killed 
my dear uncle." 


CoppY Letter to Lord Justice Clerk, so docqueted : there is 

no date. It is probably a copy of a letter from John 

Campbell of Barcaldine, whose signature to the above 

document resembles the writing of the name ' Campbell ' 

in the following letter, or rather copy of a letter, which 

is unsigned: probable date, July 1752. 

" My Lord, — ^In the course of the Inquirie I have been 

making to find out the authors of my Broyrs. murder I am 

informed that James Stewart in Acham, the Bastard Broyr. 

of Ardsheal, now prisoner att Fort William as Suspected of 

being principally concerned in Gleneur's murder, when in this 

town in Apnll last about getting a suspension of the Decreets of 

Removal, at Gleneur's instance against the Tenants of Ardsheal, 

Did visit James Drummond alias McGregor Prisoner in the Tol- 

booth of Edr., and after making frequent mention to the said 

James Drummond of Gleneur's name in an opprobrious manner 

Did propose to him a scheme of Disableing Gleneur from acting 

as factor upon the forfeited Estates, what he proposed was that 

James Drummond should give to him, James Stewart, a letter 

directed to Robert CampbeU alias Mac^egor, brother to the said 


112 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

James Drummond (a person under sentence of fngitation) 
Desiring the said Robert to do whatever the said Jamee Stewart 
desired him,- particularly to murder Gleneur, for which purpose 
the said James Stewart was to furnish a very good gun, James 
Drummonds bribe was to get a prorogation of a Beneficial Tack 
he then enjoyed from a near relation of James Stewart's, to 
whom he was Tutor, the bribe to Robert was James Stewart's 
affording him money to carry him to ffrance, where by Ard- 
sheal's interest he was to get a Commission in the ffrench service, 
or a pensione, whichever he chused. 

" Your Lordship knows James Drummond's evidence can 
signify nothing in his present situatione, which is extremely 
unlucky, as he would make a most material witness against 
James Stewart, and otherways I am afraid the proof will be 
scrimp. I will not pretend to say more than Referr to your 
Lordship whether it is not really the Interest of the Government 
to Bring the Murderers of Gleneur to the end they deserve, as it 
is evident he lost his life for and in doing his duty. [On an 
enclosed slip is the following] : — ' The Tryal of James Stewart 
at Inveraray is to come on the 21st of Sept. new style at which 
time James Drummond will be incapable of giving evidence 
imless he be first capacitated by a Pardon/ " 

Note. — There is another scroll or draft of a letter in the 
same handwriting, without date, but probably written in 1755 
(See No. LXIV. below), referring to an application made by 
the minister of Appin and Lesmore, at the instigation of 
Stewart's friends, for the form of Glenduror on the estate of 
Ardsheal, from which James Stewart had been removed at 
Whits. 1751, and which was in the joint possession of BalU- 
veolan and Colin Glenure, at the time of the murder of the 

James Stewart of, or rather in, Acham, known also as 
Seumas a Glinne, was tried as an accessory to Glenure's murder, 
and on very insufficient evidence found guilty, and was executed 
8th Novr., 1752. Notes on his trial will be found in a paper by 
Mr MacphaU, advocate, in Trans. Gael. Soc. of Inv., Vol. XVI., 
for 1889-90. 


Letter from Colonel John Crawfurd to John Campbell of 
Barcaldine, Esq., dooqueted " 12 July Letter John Craw- 
furd." [Note. — ^It is imdated, but must belong to 1752]. 
"Dear Sir, — ^As it is probable I will not be in Town this 
night may I beg that in your writing to Inverary the 3 foUg. 

The Big house Papers, 113 

Questions may be put to DougaM MXDoU and inserted in his 
precognitions, 1st as to having seen. Allan Bredk in ye Brewhottse 
handling one of his master's guns and complaining of the locks. 
2rid the time he saw young Allan going wth. Laggan How [i.e. 
Xiagnaha] towards tiie wood on the day of the mwnier; and 3rd 
that both M'CoUs shou'd be strongly dealt with b& to the con- 
versation mention'd by Dun. Roy in tJie prison and the causes 
for pitying young Allan, and why they thought he would be 
hang'd as well as his Fayr. 

" I have wrote to F. WiUiam desiring Mercht. Roy, James 
and his son may all be precognosced about the Horn, and the 
Sergt. and party about Cloaths and horn. The M'CoUs shou'd 
be again tax'd about the Horn. — I am allways, most faithfully 
yours, " John Crawfurd. 

" Wednesday momg., 7 o'clock. 12th July." 

Notes. — Col. Crawfurd was Governor of Fort-William at the 
time James Stewart and his son, Allan, were conveyed there as 
prisoners on 16th May: he witnessed scmie of the depositions 
made by them in prison at the banning of June, but was 
Telieved by a new Governor early in July. Sergt. Baird of Col. 
Crawfurd's regiment was sent to search for, and found the 
•clothes Allan Brock had worn the day of the murder and l^t 
Mdden, when he resumed his own on the morning of the 18th, 
At Caolsnaoon, on his way to Rannoch. 

The M'Colls were two of James Stewart's servants, prisoners 
-at Fort-WilHam. 

The horn mentioned was a powder horn foimd in the pocket 
of a coat worn by Allan Breck immediately after the murder. 

The name of the tenant of Lagnaha was Alex. Stewart. 

NO. XLIV. ^ 

Letter from Duncan Campbell, Sheriff-Substitute of Perth- 
shire, and later of Glenure, to his brother, John Camp- 
bell of Barcaldine, docqueted '' My Broyr. Duncan's 
Letter wt. respect to Debursements." 

"Ednr., 17th August, 1752. 
" Dr. Br., — ^As I must hurry to BreadaJbane and Rannoch 
in order to preoognosce some people there who there is reason 
to believe must have known some material circumstances anent 
Allan Brecfc's motions since our Broyr. Glen's murder [I] do 
liereby recommend to you to see all the accounts that are still 


114 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

unpaid in town by ns of Depursements in prosecuting the said 
murderers paid before you leave this place, and I'm yours &c., 

" Dun. Campbell. 
" To John Campbell of Barcaldine, Esq." 

NoTF. — ^Allan Breck succeeded in making his way to Ran- 
noch after the murder; three witnesses testified at the trial of 
James Stewart that they had seen Breck in Rannoch about 18th 
or 20th May, or about the latter end of that month. 


Letter Mr George Mackay to John Campbell of Barcaldine, 
Esq., so addressed to him " at Crieff by Edinr.," and 
marked " Free G. Mackay." Letter docqueted " Skibo, 
8th Oct.; 1752. Letter Mr Geo. Mackay. 

" Skibo, 8th Oct., 1752. 

" Dr. Sir, — ^I received yours from Inveraray by the express 
with the accts. of Jamep Stewart's Tryal, which gave me the 
greatest satisfaction, as it must to those much less interested 
than me, yea to all Lovers of Mankind, that a Person guilty of * 
so horrible a crime should suffer a Pimishment he so justly 
deserves. I regrate I have not had the particulars of the tryal, 
and I am very anxious to know them, but in the necessary hurry 
you must have been in when you wrote to me, I could not looh 
for your writing a full aoct. 

"I approve much of printing the Tryal. I have writt to 
Edinr. for a coppy of it when printed, and I'll nave it in course. 
I and all friends have a just sense of the fatigue and trouble you 
must have had on this occasion, and how much the success we 
all wished for is oweing to your attention and ' Dilligence : you 
say it was not in my power to bear a part of the burden with 
you, wch. iff the tryal had happened at any other time than 
when it did, I would have done with the greatest chearfulness, 
and if there are any other Tryals to come on, I shall on the 
least notice attend them, and give all the assistance in my power. 
There is a Report here of such strong circumstances having 
oome out in James Stewart's Tryal agst. his son, that he is soon 
to be try'd at Edinr. I beg you'll be so good as to aoqt. me 
what is hi this. 

" All friends here join me in our kind compts. to you and 
family, and I am. Dr. Sir, your most obedt. most hble. sert., 

"Geo. Mackay." 


The Big house Papers. 115 

Note. — The above letter is evidently from the Hon. Geo. 
Mackay of Skibo, son of George, 3rd Lord Reay, by his 3rd 
marriage, and half-brother of the Hon. Hugh Mackay of Big- 

It is fortunate for James Stewart's reputation that the pro- 
ceedings at his trial were printed. 


Letter from Lieut, (or Capt.) Archibald Campbell to his 
brother, John Campbell of Barcaldine, Esq., so addressed, 
and to the care of Mr Hugh Campbell, merchant, a little 
below the Cross, Edinburgh, and docqueted " Limmerick 
23 Oct. 1752. Letter Archd. CampbeU." 

" Limmerick Oct 23rd 1752. 
" Dr. Br., — This is my second letter from Limmerick. I was 
in hopes to have heard from you before now. I find by the 
English papers that one of the villains that murdered our poor 
brother is condemned. I'm sorry I have not a fuller accoimt 
than I meet with in the papers: had my state of health been 
good or indeed as it was Had I the least notice from you or 
opinion myself that I cou'd be of use by crossing the water I 
wou'd have endeavoured to gett leave. Allan sent me a letter 
from Robie of an old date: we have been an unfortunate 
jffamily for two years past; is there any hopes of hanging more 
of these Banditti was James Stewart supposed to be the man 
that shott poor Glenure is he a Brother of Ardsheals wont many 
of the people of that countrie be Banished how does my poor 
sister in law doe is she with child her situation must have been 
dreadful I intreat you'll write me as ffully of the Particulars of 
this Black affair as possible, since James Stewart's tryall has 
imravelled their Hellish plott. I hope your ffamilie are well and 
the rest of our ffriends, the Lord Glenorchy that now is I hope 
is well, he is allways the first in my prayers. I can not gett a 
proper opportunity of sending some sHps of Cacogee to Tay- 
mouth, nott, I'm afraid, till we goe upon DubKn duty, which will 
be next year, we are so far from any correspondence with Scot- 
land here, and they wou'd require some care, I can easily send 
them to Port Glasgow, the Collector there promised to take care 
of them. My health is much the same as it was, rather better 
time and the strict temperance I observe I believe will get the 
better of it, I have not had the least cough for a great while. 
I'm oblidged to be blooded now and then still, which is my only 

116 Qaelio Society of Inverness. 

complaint. I hope on the receipt of this youl write me and not 
give me room to think myself quite forgott. — ^I am, Dr. Br., 
your affectionate Brother and humUe Servant, 

"Archd. Campbell. 
" P.S. — ^When I wrote you before I directed by Portpatrick, 
which is your side of the water, in place of Donahadee, throw 
mistak, tho' I fancy you must have gott my letter. This goes 
by Jock Innee, who came six miles out of his way to see me." 

NO. XLvn. 

Letter Lord Breadalbane to John Campbell, Esq. of Bar- 
caldine, docqueted " Edinr., 18 Nov., 1752. Letter Lord 

" Edinr., 18th Nov., 1752. 

" Sir, — ^I received on Thursday your letter of the 11th. I 
don't know where it lay so long, nor how it came here, having 
been given in at the door to one of the servants by a person who 
said nothing further. 

'' I writt that same night by a man who was going to Tay- 
mouth to Ajchalader, and I bid him enquire particularly about 
the circumstances of Benmore, what Stewart asks for it, what I 
ought properly to give for it, and if money can be procured in 
the Countrey to pay for it. If you can solve any of these 
questions I wish you would send your opinion to John about it. 
It is certainly right for me to have it, but gold may be bought 
too dear, and I imagine Stewart will make no scruple of pro- 
portioning his demand to the oonveniency it would be to me; 
which should oe guarded against as much as we can. 

" It is now just a month since I writt to London about the 
expenses of the Prosecution, but have had no answer, by which 

I imagine the Ch r has not had an opportunity of speaking 

to Mr P about it. I mesitioned it here to the D. <^ Arg., 

who is of opinion the Oovermnent ought to pay it, and indeed 
I jnnagitift they wilL Bis Grace leaves this place about Tuesday 
or Wednesday. He dined with me yesterday, and went after- 
wards to BrunskAn, from whence he is to come in to^norrow 
evening. He intaided to have been on the Bench Monday next 
npoa the affair of Drummond's (Mac^fregor's) sentence, but he 
has taken care to prevent any consequences from it by escaping 
on Thursday evening out of the Castle. This makes a great 
noise^ and Tm tc^ the Jacobites say it was connived at by the 
D. of Arg. and the Adv. for offering his evidence against James 
Stewart, whereaa neither the D. nor the Adv. have any inftuence 

Annual Dinner 117 

in the Castle. It is owing to the negligence of the Guard, which 
I believe will be strictly enquired into, and by what I can guess, 
he would have been hanged if he had not got c^. 

" We came in good time to town, I observed bad weather 
behind us, and snow on the Pentland Hills, which is sice gone, 
but I doubt if it will leave our moimtains before Jime. 

" Adieu Yrs. B . 

" I shall not set out for London till about the first day of 
next year. I have seen Js. Stewart's last speech ; which I think 
makes it more necessary to print the Trial." 

Notes. — John Stewart in Glentiff, on Inveraw's estate, had 
purchased Benmore, in Breadalbane, from the Duke of Perth 
in 1744 or 1745. 

The reference above to Drummond (M'Gregor) is, of course, 
to his escape from prison after being tried for his share in the 
abduction, by his brother Robert, of Jean Kay, six months after 
she became a widow, in .1750. He is generally spoken of as 
James Mor Drummond or Ma(^egor, and well known as a spy. 

20th JANUARY, 1898. 

The Twenty-sixth Annual Dinner of the Society took place 
in the Caledonian Hotel this evening, under the presidency of 
the Right Hon. Lord Lovat, Chief of the Society. There was a 
large and representative attendance. His Lordship was sup- 
ported by Sheriff Scott-Moncrieff, Dr Norman Macleod, Father 
Bisset, Father Maoqueen, Father Macdonald, Marydale; Mr 
Wm. Mackay, solicitor ; Mr James Barron, Mr J. L. Robertson, 
Councillor Alex. Mactavish, and Mr D. Mackintosh, secretary. 
The croupiers were Dr Alex. Ross and Rev. Mr Sinton, minister 
of Dores. 

The customary loyal and patriotic toasts were given briefly 
from the chair. The Secretary then read a long list of apologies 
for absence from members of the Society, and submitted the 
Annual Report of the Executive, which was as icUov/s: — Tlie 
Council have again to report the close of another year of 
prosperity. Within it one life member, two honorary members, 
and thirty-three ordinary members joined the Society. The 

llbi Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

total membership now is 417. During the year Volume XX. of 
the Society's " Transactions" was issued to the members ; Volimie 
XXI. is in the press, and will soon be issued. The income and 
expenditure for the year shows a balance to the credit of the 
Society of £26 6s lOd. The Council regret to have to record the 
death during the year of Captain Chisholm of Glassbum and Mr 
Maodonell of Morar, both old and enthusiastic members of the 
Society. They also greatly regret the serious iUness of Mr 
Alexander Mackenzie, one of the Honorary Chieftains of the 
Society. Mr Mackenzie is one of the few who took a prominent 
part in the establishment of the Society, and he has from the 
beginning imtil now been one of its most prominent and useful 

Lord Lovat, who was cordially received, rose to propose the 
toast of the evening — " Success to the Gaelic Society of Inver- 
ness." He said: — Gentlemen, the report we have just had 
read to us is, I think we must all agree, satisfactor}^ in every 
way. The membership of the Society is increasing in the way 
it should increase. Every year we add more and more names to 
our list. The annually increasing nimibers and the satisfactory 
nature of the report is a thing th^t may be expected, for, in the 
first place, in Mr Mackintosh we have a most admirable secre- 
tary. He devotes great time and trouble to the work, and it is 
a work, in the second place, which comes with great zest to us 
Highlanders. The work of the Society is one that appeals to us 
aU. There is an innate love in every Highlander for the tradi- 
tions of his country, for its stories and its folklore which are so 
rapidly disappearing, and its tales of former days which are in 
danger of being lost. These are cherished in the cottages more 
than we see them in some of our own homes. And there is 
always a danger that they may pass away simply through lack 
of being put on record. The Society in that way fulfilled a 
great void, which has been much felt in the past. The report 
records the deaths of two prominent members of the Society. 
Mr Eneas Maodoneill lived on the West Coast, and he was not 
perhaps so weU known here as Captain Chisholm, who, always 
in the Idlt, was a weU-known figure in the streets of Inverness, 
and a well-beloved friend of a great many of those here. His 
end was as Highland as the course of his life. The funeral was 
attemded by friends, retainers, and clansmen. These friends he 
had made in ways which were typical of Scotsmen-r-on the hill, 
at the fishing, in pip^playing, or on the shinty field. To the 
music of the pipes playing the " Land o' the Leal," he went to 

Annual Dinner. 119 

his long home, followed, I am sure, by the sympathies of a vast 
number of Highlanders. As I was coming from Beauly to-day, 
the thought crossed my mind that for the first time in history 
one of my ancestors, about the 15th century, had to come to 
Inverness to meet James, King of Scotland. One could easily 
imagine his mixed feelings in being bidden to the banquet. No 
doubt, in the course of his journey, he felt qualms of conscience 
as to which of his many evil deeds demanded his appearance 
before the King. I xjannot say myself that when I came to look 
at the menu on the table I expected to see the black bull's head 
amongst the dishes, but I felt qualms as I drove hither from 
Beauly. It is the first time I appear here, and I hope you will 
excuse my shortcomings. One gains experience at these dinners, 
and at first one is apt not to know exactly on what subject to 
address the meeting of the members of this Society. To return 
to the report, we are now publishing the 21st Volume of the 
Society's Transactions, and I am sui'e you will aU agree with me 
that it is a great pity that instead of merely celebrating our 
silver jubilee we are not celebrating our golden jubilee. What 
tremendous losses we would have saved if the Society had been 
started forty er fifty years before. We have lost a tremendous 
lot, and our forefathers have a great deal to account for in not 
having taken the interest they should have done in preserving 
the old traditions of our Highland glens. We only know a few 
isolated facts. We know about the big battles, great events, and 
great occasions. We know about tiie '45, but of the actual daily 
hfe of the people and all about them we are as ignorant as the 
Egyptians or Babylonians. I say this with due deference, 
bemuse in late years no country has been more written up or 
more ably dealt with than has been l^e history of our own 
Highlands. Each year we find that niunbers of interesting 
books have been published about our Highland forefathers. This 
year a great many has appeared. We have, for instance, the 
Itev. Mr Maodonald, Kiltarlity's, book on the Macdonalds; we 
have the Duke of AthoU's History of the Rebellion ; and we have 
another clan history from Mr Mackenzie. Therefore, castle, 
man^e, and press each provides its quota to the general sum of 
information for the year. With reference to Mr Alexander 
Mackenzie, I am sorry he is rather worse to-day. I know he has 
the sympathy of every single member of this Society. Although 
I and some others differ from him in politics, we always have 
found him a most courteous adversary. His sense of humour 
and fund of anecdote would reaJly permit him to hold any views 

120 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

ho put bef<»:e us. I think it is customary to refer on these 
occasions to general business, and the leading facts whidii have 
occurred in our country during the year. I do not know of a 
more striking fact in the Highlands at the present moment than 
the tremendous growth of tie railway this year and last year. 
The Aviemore Hne — ^that line promised from my infancy — which 
every year was going to run us into Inverness in an unheard-of 
time next year, or the year after, is really, I believe, to become 
an accomplished fact in June of 1898. We will be an hour 
nearer London, and, what is more important, the tourists will be 
an hour nearer us, and will have greater facihties to visit ihe 
Highland Capital. We wiU soon have a railway from Fort- 
WUHam to Fort-Augustus, and from Fort-William to MaUaig, 
and visitors will be able to make a tour of the Highlands such 
as they have never been able to do before. Although we may 
not Hke tourists, they still leave amongst us a great deal of the 
gold they have accimiulated in their Sassenach homes. The 
railway will also give the people an opportunity of disposing of 
their wares, whether it be agricultural produce or herrings, 
rapidly, and at a remunerative rate. I think this year marks a 
distinct era in the prosperity of the Highlands, and the fact 
should be received well by all of us here. I do not think any 
person can now speak at a gathering of Highlandws without 
notidng the gallant behaviour of the gay Gordons. As lately a 
soldier myself, I know the feeling throughout the whole army as 
to their behaviour at Dargai, of which we have* had more or lees 
garbled accounts in the press. The censorship of the press is 
now so rigorous that you cannot tell what is happ^iing in a 
campaign. But when a regiment is applauded by all other regi- 
ments, we may be sure that they have done most gallantly. 
Another fact, which applies specially to us in this Society, is that 
the Society in Aberdeen rose immediately to raise fimds for the 
widows and children of those who fell in that action. We our- 
selves have got a regiment very shortly going to Egypt. They 
are practically half-way up the Nile now. I am certain, should 
any misfortune come to them, no Society would ccmie forward 
sooner to the assistance of the widows and children of these men 
than the Gaelic Society. I hope you will all fill your glaases to 
drink a bimiper to the Society. It is one that brings all together 
— ^landlord and tenant, from town and coimtry. It must pro- 
mote good feelings amonst Highlanders, and when the day oomee 
we will stand shoulder to shouJder as we have done in the past. 
Dr Norman Macleod said: — ^My lord and gentlemen, — T 

Annua/ Dinner. 121 

have been asked to propose the time-honoured toast of " Tir nam 
beann nan gleann 's nan gaisgeach/' May I hope that there is 
no member of the Gaelic Society in such a deplorable state of 
ignorance that he is unable to pronounce, or even to translate, 
the famous words ! If you should ever meet with one, I would 
advise you to require him instantly to surrender any pound notes 
of the Caledonian Bank he may happen to possess; for I con- 
sider that he has no right to retain that valuable piece of paper 
if he does not understand the ancient motto that is inscribed 
upon it. It has always seemed to me that the adoption of that 
motto is a striking proof of the faith which the founders of that 
useful institution had in the resources of the Highlands — at that 
time almost unknown, and certainly under-rated. I may, 
perhaps, be speaking to some imaginative individual who is dis- 
posed to tell me that this toast is a mere sentiment — ^that I 
might as weU ask you to drink to the sun, moon, and stars as to 
the land of the mountains and glens. True, it is a sentiment; 
but, after all, this world is ruled by sentiment as well as by 
reason. I do not envy the man in whose nature there is no 
sentiment. " There are two mighty voices," says Wordsworth, 
" the mountains an^ the sea, which, for my present purpose, 
might be rendered the mountains and the glens, set in the midst 
of the encircling seas, which seem to linger lovingly around them 
ere they pass out, sending their tides far up among the hills in 
kyles and bays and sounds and lochs, than which there are none 
more beautiful in God's fair world. It is possible, no doubt, to 
travel through the Highlands, as thousands of Cookneyfied 
tourists do every year, without catching a whisper of these 
voices. But if the spirit of the mountains and the glens has 
ever touched us, we have learned them, and, whether consciously 
or not, they have left an impress on our thoughts, our feelings, 
our character, that can never be obliterated. The love of 
country, it has often been remarked, is a stronger passion among 
highland races, whether we find them in Scotland, in Ireland, in 
Wales, in Switzerland, or far away the Himalayam rangB, 
than among any other pec^le. Uod may expatriate our f^ow- 
countrymen to the uttermost parts of the earth ; but, go where 
they may, they never forgot t*he land of their birth or fiie home 
of their fathers — 

" From the dim sheiUng on the misty island. 
Mountains divide ^em and a world of seas ; 
But stiU their hearts are true, their hearts are Highland, 
They in their dreams behold the Hebrides." 


122 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

And no wonder. The mountain and the glen have voices of 
their own — voices of the winds, voices of the mists, voices of the 
streanus, voices of the past, that are ahnost silent in the low 
countries. Nature has there the power, as it were, of clothing 
herself with a personahty that make her a companion to all who 
can understand her varying moods, and can feel, though they 
cannot express, their appreciation of her incomparable glory and 
beauty. I will venture to say that, after its kind, there is no 
scenery on earth that can beat the scenery of our Northern and 
Western Highlands. It is no use to make comparisons between 
the scenery of one country and another. I know nothing more 
futile. Each may be perfect in its own way, and what is lacking 
in one place may be found in another. But, after its kind, 
" Tir ham beann nan gleann 's nan gaisgeach" holds its own 
unrivalled, and in many respects unsurpassable. Who ever saw 
the sun rising behind that splendid range of mountains that 
stretch from Ben-Nevis to Ben-Cruachan — that most graceful ^f 
all Highland bens — behind the " Shepherds of Etive' glen, and 
other hills which stand like sentinels aroimd the dark Glencoe — 
or who that has seen the setting sun shedding her departing 
beams on the CooHn range, with the Squire of Eig and the 
serried peaks of Rum in the foreground of a simlit sea, can ever 
forget it! I do not suppose that the mountains and the glens 
care much whether we drink to their health or not. But it is 
good for us to do so, because it is a kind of recognition of 
influences which have moulded our Hves, and are the perennial 
fount of an inspiration which has become the very hght of all 
our seeing. And, gentlemen, what shall I say of the people who 
dwell among the mountains and glens? — ^few — much fewer in 
number than they once were, I am sorry to say — but, I hope, 
still retaining those fine qualities which made so many of their 
fathers as noble specimens of humanity as could be found in any 
country in the world. To speak of them as " gaisgich," heroes, 
may seem rather " high falutin," but heroes there have been in 
every walk of life, and especially on the battlefield ; and heroes, 
I believe, there are yet, if the occasion should arise. No doubt 
it is disappointing to hear that so few Highlanders now join the 
regular army. It is not wholly attributable to the sparsenees 
of population, as is often alleged. One is half inclined some- 
times to fear that poverty, hardship, sectarianism, material 
interests, and even in some instances oppression, are to some 
extent impoverishing the race, narrowing their sympathies, and 
dulling their sense of imperial greatness and responsibility. 

Annual Dinner. 123 

Things happened during the first half of the present century 
that have left a soar on the memory of the people that cannot 
easily be effaced. But the old martial spirit is not dead, as was 
proved only a few weeks ago on the heights of Dai-gai. I know 
that the Gordons and our own Cameron s are not all Highlanders, 
but many of them are, more than some people think, and 
probably very few have not a strain of Highland blood in their 
veins. And so strong is the tradition of courage, of endurance, 
of patriotism, and of loyalty among these men, that even a 
" Sassenach" cannot join a Highland regiment without becoming 
almost every inch of him a Highlander. No one can deplore 
more than I do some aspects of the painfid agitation which has 
prevailed throughout the Highlands in recent years. But it has 
never surprised me that strong feeling was evoked, and when a 
strong feeling is evoked amongst a brave people, there are sure 
to be excesses here and there. I am not speaking as a pohtical 
economist. I am well aware that there are laws operating in 
human affairs against which it is vain to fight. But nothing, in 
my opinion, can excuse the harsh, ruthless, and mercenary 
depopulation that took place at one time in some parts of the 
country. Whether it is possible to re-people some of these silent 
and desolated glens is a question which I do not presume to 
answer. The practiLcal difficulties are enormous, probably in 
large measure insurmountable. I do believe this, however, that 
a brighter day has now dawned on the Highlands than has been 
seen for many a long year — a brighter day, I hope, for the 
impoverished landlords, as well as for the struggling and im- 
poverished crofters. This at least is certain, that never before 
was there a more sincere desire on the part of the Legislature, 
of the Government, of the owners of the soil, and of the public 
generally to do whatever is possible to amehorate the condition 
of the Highland people; and I feel sure that Highlanders will 
gratefully appreciate the efforts more and more, and go forward 
hopefully and courageously, industriously and peaceably, in that 
path of social and material improvement which seems to be 
opening up before them. Gentlemen, let us drink prosperity to 
the Highlands — " Tir nam beann nan gleann '9 nan gaisgeach.'' 
Dr Macleod coupled the toast with the name of Rev. Mr Ken- 
nedy, Arran, who, he said, would return thanks for Goatfell and 
the surrounding mountains. 

The toast was enthusiastically pledged. 

Rev. Mr Kennedy said that in view of the warm reception 
of Dr Macleod's remarks, a reply of any sort was scarcely neoee- 

12i Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

sary. He felt in the position of the minister who was told tJiat 
" a worse man than you would have done if we could have got 
him." There were many abler men in the Society, for Dr 
Cameron Leea had written that in no town of its size was there 
more cultivated society, and no coimty had had more done to 
illustrate its history and its language than Inverness. He (Mr 
Kennedy) believed that a great deal of the truth of the com- 
pliment was due to the Gaehc Society. After making a few 
remarks on Celtic books recently pubHshed, he said that adverse 
remaiks might conceivably be laade not only about Gaelic Hterar 
ture, but about the Hterature of the present age, and these were 
that people were probably more concerned about books than they 
were about reading the classical masterpieces of genius. If we 
are the heirs of all ages, we ' ought not to forget our special 
indebtedness to the ages that are past. In the writing of Gaelic 
books, Dr Macleod's forefathers had laid the Highlanders under 
a debt that they ought never to forget. 

Mr John Macleod, M.P., in giving the toast of " Highland 
Education," said that he believed they were on the threshold 
of a great educational movement, not only in the Highlands, but 
all over the country. He was sure that in that development the 
Highlands would be in the forefront. He thought that the 
Gaelic language ought to be encouraged more in schools than it 
was. He referred to the enoouragement given by the Sootdi 
Department, and quoted statistics, and said it was pleasing to be 
able to prove that the Department itself thought it possible to 
give encouragement to Gaelic. Mr Macleod spoke regarding 
what was done for Welsh, and ooncluded by coupling the toast 
with the name of Mr Robertson, a gentleman whose knowledge 
and experience in educational matters was well known. 

Mr J. L. Robertson, H.M. Inspector of Schools, in replying, 
said he thought the subject of educati<xi was one that was 
appropriate at a meeting d that kind, although he, as an official, 
was restricted to speaking in very general terms on the subject. 
One thing he would say, and that was that the Eduoati(XL 
Department is not a legislative but a purely administrative body. 
Referring to Mr Macleod's remarks, he said he did not think the 
Gaelic language suffered so much in the educational sense as was 
indicated by the analogy with Wales. The oiicumstanoes 
differed. In Wales there were seven ne?rspapers published in 
Welsh, and there was not one in the Highlands published in. 
Gaelic. That fact was significajit as to the desire o( the people' 
for the cultivation erf the language. Industrially, Wales wai^ 

Seana Bheaohdan, etc. 125 

self-contained, whilst in the Highlands of Scotland our industries 
do not enable us to live and make home our exclusive £.eld of 
operations. The Highlands are probably the most metropolitan 
part of Her Majesty's dominions, and one of the most gratifying 
things he had recently observed was the growing appreciation of 
education amongst the people. 

There were a number of other toasts given, and, at the dose, 
Mr William Mackay, solicitor, proposed the Chairman, and said 
that the family of Lovat were probably better known in the 
Highlands than any other family. They could not mention 
another race of noblemen who were so much in the mouth of 
the peojde, in the folk-lore, as the great family of Lovat. It 
was a pleasure to all to see the direct descendant of that andeni} 
hne presiding over the Gaelic Sodety of Inverness. In addition 
to these historical claims, Lord Lovat had personal claims upon 
them, and the manner in which he went amonst his people was 
worthy of being followed by other proprietors. Mr Mackay 
concluded by quoting a verse of a song upon the late Lord Lovat, 
which also applied to the Chairman — 

" 'S toigh leam fhein aird do ghineadh, 
A Shim oig Mhic ic Shimidh, 
Co tha beo nach gabhadh gean art 
Nuadr a shealladh iad na d' aodainn!" 

The toast wa^ pledged with Highland honours. 

Mr T. A. Mackay, banker, proposed the health of the 
Croupiers, Dr Ross and the Rev. Mr Sinton, and a successful 
meeting concluded with the singing of " Auld Lang Syne" by 
the whole company. 

27th JANUARY, 1898. 

The paper for this evening was amtributed by the Rev. John 
Macrury, Snizort, entitled '' Seajia Bheachdan agus Seana 
Chleadidaidhean.'' Mr Macrury's paper was as follows : — 


Anns an am a dh' fhalbh bha aireamh mhor dhe 'n t-sluagh 
anns gadi oeam dhe 'n t-aaoghal a' lan-chreidainn gu'n robh 
rdthichean ann, agus gu'n robh aiteachan-comhnuidh aca f o gach 

126 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

cnocan boidheach, uaine a bha anns gach aite bu shamhaiche s 
a b' iomallaiche na oheile a bh' anns an t-saoghal. Tha e 'na ni 
gle iongantach gu'm biodh a leithid so de bheachd cho cumanta 
am measg gach sluaigh fo 'n ghrein. 

Tha iomadh neaoh beo gus an latha 'n diugh a tha gu laidir 
a' cumail am mach gu'n robh sithichean ann 's an am a dh' 
fhalbh, ged a tha iad ag aideachadh nach 'eil iad a nis ri 'm 
faioinn. Ach ma bha iad air an talamh 's an am a dh' fhalbh^ 
c'aite an. deaohaidh iad, no oiod a dh' eirich dhaibh? Mu 'n toir 
sinn oidhirp air na ceisdean so a fhreagairt feumaidh sinn an 
toiseach oidl^irp a thoirt air cunntas a thoirt seachad mu 
thimchioU oo iad, agus cda mar a thachair dhaibh a bhith air an 

Cha 'n 'eil teagamh nach raohadh aig gach sluagh a bha 
'creddsinn gu'n robh sithichean ann air cunntas a thoirt seachad 
mu 'n timchioll, ach tha aobhar againn a bhith 'creidsinn nach 
b' ann air an aon doigh a dheanadh iad so. Mar a thachair 
dhaibh a thaobh chuisean eile, bha cinnich an t-saoghail a 
dh' atharrachadh barail mu 'n chilis so. 

Cha robh na Gaidheil riamh air dheireadh air sluagh sam 
bith eile ann a bhith 'toirt am barail seachad mu gach ni 
iongantach a bhiodh iad a' faicdnn 's a' cluiontinn mu 'n ouairt 
dhaibh. Mar shluagh, bha iad comasach air smaointean 
iongantach a dhealbh 'nan inntinnean a thaobh moran nithean. 
A thaobh nan sithichean, bha na Gaidheil a' oreidsinn, ged a 
bha iad ann an cruth 's an coslas dhaoine, agus ann an iomadh 
doigh a' tighinn beo mar a bha daoine, nach bu daoine nadarra 
a bh' annta idir. Bha iad a' oreidsinn gu'm b' iad na sithichean 
earrann dhe na h-ainglean a thuit o 'n ceud inbhe, agus ged a 
lean iad prionnsa an dorchadais an nair a dh' fhuadaicheadh am 
mach a neamh e, a chionn gu'n d' rinn e ar-am-mach an aghaidh 
Dhe, nach robh de chionta ri chur as an leith ach gu'n do lean 
iad e gun smaointean ciod a bha iad a' deanamh. A chionn 
nach robh an cionta ach beag an coimeas ri cionta na h-aireimh 
mhoir eile a thuit o 'n ceud inbhe, an aite an druideadh a steach 
ann an ionad a' bhroin 's na truaighe mar a rinneadh air n^ 
h-ainglean a bha na bu chiontaiche na iad, is ann a dh' fhuad- 
aicheadh a dh' ionnsuidh na talmhainn iad, far an robh aoa ri 
bhith 'gabhail comhnuidh gu la a' bhreitheanais. 

Ach cha V e so uile am peanas a chaidh a leagadh orra. 
Ann an iomadh doigh thugadh uapa moran dhe 'n saorsa. Ged 
a bha na h-aiteaohan-oomhnuidh a bh' aca anabarrach mor, 
farsuinn, agus ged a bha iad, a reir oholtais, a' sealbhachadh 

Seana Bheachdan, etc. 127 

gaoh ni a bhiodh feumail dhaibh, gidheadh, bha e soilleir do 
gach neach a chuir eolas orra, no a chuala mu 'n deidhimi, nack 
robh iad toiliohte le 'n staid. Cha b' e mhain gu'n robh biadh 
is aodach gu lebr aoa, ach bha iad a,' cur seachad moran db© 'n 
uine leis gach subhachas is toil-iaiitinn a mhiaimaioheadh iad. 
Bha n solus bu bhoillsgeile a chunnaic suil duine riamh aoa* 'nan 
aiteachan-cornhnnidh ; bha 'n cebl bu bhinne, a chuala cluas 
riamli aca; agus a reir mar a chuala sinn, bha iad anabarraoh 
deidheil air a bhith 'dannsa. Shaoileadh daoine gu'm bu choir 
dhaibh a bhith anabarrach toihchte le 'n staid; oir cha robh ak 
bheag de thrioblaidean cmnanta na beatha so a' cur dragh' orra. 
Bha aiteachan-cornhnuidh tioram, seasgair, blath aca; cha robh 
eis bidh no aodaich orra; bha iomadh sebrsa toil-inntinn aca; 
cha robh iad riamh air an sarachadh le obair thruim; oha robh 
mal no cis aoa ri phaigheadh ; cha chuireadh maor, no baillidh, 
no uachdaran dragh no tuairgneadh orra aig am sam bith; a 
dh' aon fhacal, cha robh creutair beo air an talamh a bha cho 
saor o dhraghannan, 's o thrioblaidean, 's o amhghairean, 's o 
churaman na beatha so riutha. Ach ged a bha 'chuis mar so, 
bha farmad gu lebr aoa ris na daoine bu bhochdainne crannachur 
a bh' air an talamh. gu leir. ^ 

Car son a bha so mar so? Bha, do bhrigh gu'n robh iad ag 
amharc orra fliein mar phriosanaioh aig nach robh dochas sam 
bith gum faigheadh iad an saorsa gu brath. 

Tha eachdraidh ag innseadh dhuinn gu'n do thachair nitheadi 
iomadh uair air an talamh a tha 'nochdadh dhuinn c'ar son a 
bha na sithichean mi-thoiUohts lo n staid. Aig am oogaidh, an 
uair a tha righ no prionnsa air a ghlacadh, agus a shaorsa mar 
ligh no mar phrionnsa air a toirt uaithe, ged a b' i an liichairt 
bu mho 's bu mhaisiche a bhiodh air an t-saoghal a V aite 
comhnuidh dha, gidheadh, bhiodh e gu nadarra ag amharc air 
, fhein mar phriosanach ; eadhoin ged a bhiodh a bhiadh is aodach 
's a leaba cho math 's a bha iad latha riamh 'na bheatha, agus 
ged a bhiodh e air a ohuartachadh le greadhnachas ro mhbr, 
agus a' faotainn gach frithealaidh air am biodh a leithid 

Cha 'n 'eil ni anna an t-saoghal a's luachmhoire ann an 
sealladh duine na saorsa. Cha toir ionmhas an t-saoghail gu 
leir, ged a bhiodh e aig duine, fior shonaa dha, ma bheirear a 
shaorsa uaitha Agus iadBan aig nach 'eil dochas gu'm faigh 
iad saorsa aimsireil no spioradail, cha 'n 'eil e 'na ioghnadh ged 
a bhiodh iad mi-shona. 

1^ Gaelic Society of inuemess. 

A reir mar a chuala siim, bha na sithichean ami an iomadh 
doigh coltach ri daoine an t-saoghail so na 'n cruih., na 'n nadar, 
na 'n aignidhean, na 'm miannan, agus na 'n deachdaidhean. 
Bha tiachd gu leor aca do chuid dhe 'n chinne-daon, agus bha 
iomadh sgeul air aithris mu thimchioll a' chaoimhneis a bha iad a' 
nochdladh, agus an fhrithealaidh a bha iad gu trie a' deanamh 
do dhaoine. Cha Bhiodh mor-fheum dhuinn aig an am so 
iomradh a thoirt air gach sgeul a bh' air aithris mu'n deidhinn, 
eadhoin ged a bhiodh iad air chuimhne againn. 

Ach tha 'chuis coltach gu'n robh iad fo fhiachan obair a 
dheanamh air laithean araidh, na 'n cuirteadh mu 'n coinneamh 
e, ged nach biodh toil sam bith aca lamh a chur innte. Faod- 
aidh sinn aon nadgheachd innseadh mu dheidhinn so. 

Bha duine araidh air taobh an. iar Uidhist mu thuath do 'm 
h' ainm Fearachar. Bha 'n duine so, mar is minio a bha fear a 
bharrachd air, 'na dhuine leasg, somalta nach deanadh moran 
obrach nam faigheadh e daoine eile a dheanadn air a shon i. 
Anns a' gheamhradh chuir e cruach mhath arbhair a steacli 
do 'n t-sabhal. Thachair dha radh gu'm b' fhearr leis gu'n 
robh a h-uile sithiche a bh' anns an t-sithean a bha faisge air a' 
bhaile anns an robh e aige gus gu'm buaileadh iad an t-arbhar 
dha. Chuala na sithichean e, oir tha e coltach gu'n robh 
claisneachd mhath aoa. A bharrachd air so, tha e coltach gu'n 
robh comas aca air a bhith lathair am measg dhaoine ged nach 
robh e comasach do dhaoine am faidnn. 

A nis, tha e air aithris gu'n robii aon latha 's an t-seachdain 
air am feumadh iad obair sam bith a dh' iarrteadh orra a 
dheanamh, co dhuibh a bhiodh iad toileach no nach bitheadh. 
B' e 'n latha so, mur do mheall mo chuimhne mi, Di-sathaime. 
B' e so an latha air an do thachair do Fhearachar an ordachadh. 
Agus cha bu luaithe a dh' brdaioh e iad na thainig iad 'nan 
ceudan gu dorus an t-sabhail, agus iad vale a' glaodhaich, 
'* Obair, obair, 'Fhearachair. ' 

Ghabh Fearachar an t-eagal an uair a chunnaic e na thainig 
-dhiubh. Bha fhios aige gu'n robh a bheatha ann an cunnart 
mur tugadh e obair gu leor dhaibh an deigh dha an ordachadh. 
An uair a leig e steach do 'n tnsabhal a' mheud 's a shaoileadh e 
a gheibheadh aite gu leor ann gu bualadh an arbhair, thuirt e 
ris an fheadhain a b' fhaisge air an dorus, " Cumaibh am muigh 
na bhios ag, iarraidh tighinn a steach, agus cumaibh a staigh na 
bhios ag iarraidh a dhol am mach." 

Chuir Fearachar na fir a bh' anns an t-sabhal gu obair. An 
:aite an cur a bhualadh mar a bha diiil aige dheanamh, is ann a 

Seana Bheachdan, etc. 129 

thug e oiTa teauiiadh ri spioladh an t-sil bhar an fhodair. Bha 
iad aim cho lionmhor, a^s bha iad cho ealanta air an obair *s 
nach robh iad nine mhor sam bith ris an obair a bh' aca ri 
dheanamh. An deigh dhaibh an siol a thoirt uile bhar an 
arbhair, thug e orra am fodar a chrathadh 's a cheangal. An 
nair a bha iad nllamh dhe so, thug e orra an siol a chathadh 
le 'n anaiL Mu dheireadh bha 'n obair a bh' aige ri dheanamh 
deiseil. Thug iad nile an aon ghlaodh asda, ag radh, " Obair, 
obair, 'Fhearachar." 

A nis, mur faigheadh iad obair gu leor uaithe, bheireadh iad 
a bheatha dheth. Ach ged a bha FearEichar leaag, bha e gle' 
ghleusda, mar is minic a bha fear dhe 'sheorsa. An uair a 
chunnaic e gu'n robh iad thuar a dol an sas ann gus a mhai-bh- 
adh, dh' brdaich e dhaibh a dhol a dh' ionnsuidh a' chladaich, 
agus sugan gaineamhaich a dheanamh. An uair a chuar iad so, 
-dh' fhalbh iad gu bog, balbh, agus cha 'n fhaca e riamh tuill- 
•eadh iad. 

Ged a bha na sithichean mar bu trice deas gu cuideachadii 
a dheanamh le daoine a bhiodh 'nan eiginn, gidheadh bha iad 
goimheil, gamhlasach gu leor an nair a chuirteadh corruich orra. 
Cha robh ni bu mho a chiiireadh de chorruich orra na bhith 
'gan caineadh air chiil an cinn. Cha bhiodh e sabhailte aon 
fhacal a radh mu 'n deidhinn aig am sam bith. Mar a dh' 
ainmicheadh mar tha, rachadh aca air a bhith lathair ann an 
iomadh aite ged nach biodh e an opmas do dhaoine am faicinn. 
B' e so aon de na cumhachdan a dh' fhagadh aca an uair a dlx' 
fhnadaicheadh a dh' ionnsuidh na talmhainn -iad. Tha 'n 
t-ainm a bh' aig daoine orra 'g a dhearbhadh so. B' e " sith- 
ichean," no " daoine sithe," no *' daoine matha," a theirteadh gu 
•cumanta riutha. Cha tugadh na h-ainmeannan so oilbheum 
sam bith dhaibh. 

A reir mar a chualas, tha e coltach gu'n robh aon latha 's an 
t-seachdain air am faoidteadh labhairt le tair agus le suarachas 
mu'n deidhinn. B' e an latha so, Di-haoine. Mar a theirteadh 
gu cumanta, " Is e 'n diugh Di-haoine 's cha chluinn iad sinn." 
Gun teagamh sam bith, 'nan tachradh. dhaibh a bhith lathair 
gu corparra, ciiiuinneadh iad ciod a theireadh daoine mu 'n 
deidhinn. Ach air Di-haoine cha robh e 'n comas dhaibh iad 
fhein a dheanamh neo-fhaicsinneach. A reir barail dhaoine, 
b' ann a chionn gu'n do cheusadh Criosd air Di-haoine a chaiQ 
na sithichean an comas a bh' aca air laithean eile air iad fhein a 
dheanamh neo-fhaicsinneach. Air an latha ud thug Criosd le a 
bhas buille-bhais do chumhachdan an dorchadais; agus* o 'n a 


130 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

bhuineadh na sithichean do rioghachd an dorchadais, dh' fhairich 
iad a' bhuille gu trom, gu sonraichte air a h-uile Di-haoine. 

Tha moran a bharrachd air aithris mu thimchioll nam 
mnathan na mu thimchioll nam fear. Bhiodh na fir trie gu leor 
ag obair aig daoine, an uair a dh' ordaicheadh daoine iad mai* a 
rinn Fearachar, agus iomadh fear a bharrachd air. Ach bhiodh 
na mnathan gu math trie ri 'm faioinn ann an iomadh aite, agus 
bha iad a' cheart cho deae gu cuideachadh is oomhnadh a dhean- 
amh le daoine a bhiodh nan eiginn 's a bha na fir fhein. Cha n 
'eil e 'n comas dhuinn a bheag a radh mu thimchioll cruth is 
coslas nam fear. Ach is e barail na muinntir a dh' innseadh 
na b' aithne dhaibh mu 'n deidhinn, nach robh annta ach 
daoine beaga, meata, air nach robh maise no tlachd mor sani 
biih ri 'm faicinn. A reir choltais gu'n robh cuid dhuibh air am 
faicinn ann an riochd fior sheann daoine. Ach cha chualas 
riamh gun d' fhuair a h-aon dhiubh bas leis an aois. Ach ma 
bha h-aon dhe na mnatlian-sithe air an robh ooltas aosda, cha do 
leig iad iad-fhein fhaicinn r-amh do shluagh an t-saoghail so. 
An dara cuid bha iad aig gach am a' fuireach anns na sitheanan, 
air neo bha iad 'g an cur fhein ann an riochd mhnathan oga. 

Cha robh a h-aon dhe na mnathan-sithe, cho fad 's is aithne 
do dhaoine, 'n am boirionnaich dhuaichnidh. Bha iad uilo 
direach, doas, dealbhach, agus gle sgiamhach ri amharc orra. 
Cha mho a chualas gu'n robh a h-aon dhiubh riamh trom ann 
am feoil. Cha 'n fhacas riamh air a h-aon dhiubh ach trusgan 
uame. Agus cha mho a chimnaoas aireamli mhor dhiubh 
comhiadh riamh. An am do dhaoine bhith 'g innseadh gu'm 
faca iad te dhiubh, theireadh iad, gum faca iad " bean chaol a' 
chbt' uain." 

Cho fad 's is fhiosrach daoine, cha chualas liamh gu n do 
thuit aon de mhnathan an t>saogail so arm an gaol air sitliiche. 
Is cinnteach nam biodh iad 'nan daoine dreachar gu n tuiteadli 
te fhaoin air choireiginn ann an gaol air fear dhiubh ; oir tha 
cuid de bhoirionnaich ann a tha cho faoin 's gu'n gabh iad gaol 
air fear sani bith. Ach is docha nach robli na boirionnach cho 
faoin 's an am a dh' fhalbh 's a tha iad anns an am so. 

Ach ma's fhior na chuala sinn, thuit iomadh fear ann an gaol 
air na. mnathan-sithe, agus phos cuid dhiubh iad. B' ainnea-mh 
a bha fear riaimh toilichte an deigh dha bean-shithe a phosadh, 
eadlioin ged a bhiodh gaol anabarrach mor aige oirre mu 'n do 
phos e i. Cha d' rinn te dhiubh bean-taighe mhath riamh. 
Bhiodh iad cho neo-steidheil 's nach fhanadh iad aig na taighean. 
Cha bhiodh iad toilichte mur biodh iad a' falbh o aite gu aite 

Seana Bheachdan, etc. ' 131 

mar a tha cuid dhe na mnathan guanach, neo-steidheil a tha cho 
pailt anus an t-soaghal gus an latha 'n diugh. Rud eile dheth^ 
cha do iTig 's cha d' araich bean-shithe sliochd riamh. 

Clia 'n 'eil cunntas againn gu'n robh na sithichean a' posadh 
'n am measg fhein idir. Cha chuala sinn ciod a b' aobhar dha 
so, acli tha chuis ooltach gu'n robh e fior gu leor. 

Ach ged nach robh e comasach do na mnathan-sithe sliochd 
a bhreith no arach, bha iad anabarrach gaolach air doinn bhig, 
gu h-araidh air gillean beaga. Bu trio leotha 'bhith goid 
chloinne bige air falbh an uair a gheibheadh iad an cothrom. 
Ach an uair a-bheireadh iad leotha clann bheag, dh' fhagadh iad 
seanii daoine dhiubh fhein ann an riochd chloinn bige 'nan aite, 
Bha iomadh naigheachd air an aithris mu dheidhitm so, ach 
foghnaidh dhuinn an naigheachd a leanas innseadh mar 
dheai'bhadh gun robh cuid dhe 'n t-sluagh a' toirt geill is 
creideis dhaibh gus o chionn ghoirid. 

Bha bean araidli ann aig an robh leanabh giUe* a bha 
anabarrach maiseach anns gach doigh. Bha 'n leanabh so a' 
fas gu math, agus gle shoirbh ri arach gus an robh e mu 
bhliadhna dh' aois. An sin thoisich e ri cnamh 's ri dhol as, 
agus ri fas anabarrach greannach, crosda, duilich ri cur suas 
leis. Dh' fhas e cho bruidhneach 's cho seanagarra na 
dhoighean ri fior sheann duine. Dh' itheadh is dh' oladh e mar 
a bheirteadh dha. Clia b' aill leis a chas a chur air lar gu ceum 
coiseachd a dheanamh. Bha na coimhearsnaich ag radii ri' 
mhathair gu n robh iad cinnteach gur e sithiche a bh' ann ; ach 
cha clireideadh i iad. Ged a bha i 'faicinn gu'n robh an leanabh 
air fas caol, mi-thuarail, greannach, crosda seach mar a bha e 'n 
toiseach, bha i 'toirt oirre fhein a chreidsinn gu'm faodadh gur 
e galair ciiim araidh a bha cur dragh' air. Ach mu dheireadh 
bhiiail e anns a' cheann aice gur e sithiche a bh' ann gun 
teagamh, o nach cual' i e riamli a' gearain craidh no goirteis. 

Mil dheireadh chaidh i far an robh seann duine^ glic a bh' 
anns a' bhaile, agus dh' innis i dha mu 'n leanabh. " Is docha 
gur e sithiche a th' ann, ach tha na sithichean cho gleusda 
's nach 'eil e furasda an cur as am faireachadh," ars' an 
seann duine. " Ma theid againn air an leanabh a chur as 
'fhaireachadh, ni mise am mach co dhuibh is e sithiche a th' ann 
no nach e. Bi thusa 'falbh, agus faigh naoi sligean mora 
bhaimeach, agus an uair a tiieid thu dhachaidh cuiridh tu mor 
thimchioll an teine iad agus eibhlean teiae fodhpa. Lionadh tu 
le uisge iad. An uair a dh' fheoraicheas an leanabh dhiot ciod 
am feimi a tha thu 'dol a dheanamh dhe na sligean, their thu ris, 

132 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

gur e soithichean-togala 'th' annta. Ma 's e do leanabh fhein a 
th' ann cha ghabh e ioghnadh sam bith ; ach ma 's e sithiche a 
th' ann, gabhaidh e ioghnadh gu leor. An uair a chuireas tu na 
naoi sligean timchioll an tedne theid thu 'mach agus seallaidh tu 
steach air uinneag chul an taighe feuch ciod a their no 'ni e. 
Thig thu far am bhedl mise, agus innsidh tu dhomh ciod a chi 's 
a chluinneas tu/' 

Mu 'n do thill a' bhean dhachaidh fhuair i na naoi sligean 
bhaimeach. Chuir i thimchioU an teine iad direach mar a dli' 
iarr an seann duine oirre, agus lion i le uisge iad. Thog am fear 
a bh' anns a' chreidhil a cheann agus thuirt e, -' A mhathair, 
ciod a tha thu 'dol a dheanamh leis na sligean bhaimeach sin?" 

" So agad, a luaidh, soithichean-togala. Dean thusa foigh- 
idin, agus bidh stuth a's treise na'n t-uisge againn ri 61 an uine 
gun bhith fada. Tha mise 'falbh a dh' iarraidh tuilleadh 
shligean, agus cha bhi mi fada gun tighinn," ars' a' bhean. 

Chaidh i am mach as an taigh, agus dhiiin i an dorus. 
Chaidh i gun dail sam bith thun na h-uinneig-chiiil. Cha robh 
i fad' aig an uinneig an uair a chunnaic i esan ag eirigh as a' 
chreidhil. Chaidh e 'na sheana bhodach beag, hath, air an 
robh coltas a bhith gle laidir, calama. Ghabh e far an robh na 
sUgean bhaimeach a bha timchioll an teine, agus thbisioh e ri 
tumadh a mheoire annta, agus ri radh, an uair a chuireadh e 'na 
bheul i, " Tha mise deich mile bliadhna dh' aois agus is iomadh 
rud iongantach a chunnaic mi, ach cha 'n fhaca 's cha chuala mi 
riamh gus an diugh a bhith deanamh soithichean-togala de 
fihiigean bhaimeach. Cha 'n 'eU dad de bnlas stuth laidir air 
deur dhe na bheil an so." An uair a thuirt e so chaidh e do 'n 
chreidhil ann an riochd leinibh mar a bha e roimhe. 

Thug na chunnaic 's na chual' i aig an uinneig air a' mhnaoi 
a Ian chreidsinn gur e athicha a bh' aice 's a' chreidhil, agus 
nach b' e a leanabh fhein. Agus ghrad dh' fhalbh i far an robh 
an seann duine, agus dh' irmis i dha na chunnaic 's na chual i. 

" Till dhachaidh 's a' mhionaid," ars' esan, " agus dean 
cheangal nan tri chaol air. Thoir leat thim a' chladaich e, agus 
fag an oir na tuinne e. An uair a thig an lionadh, toisichidh e 
ri glaodhaich. Agus ged nach urrainnear a bhathadh, gidh- 
eadh, thig na sithichean eile 'ga iarraidh. An uair a thiUea« tu 
dhachaidh bidh do leanabh fhein a staigh romhad." 

Rinn i mar a chomhairHch an seann duine dhi, agus an uair 
a thill i dhachaidh bha 'mac fhein gu slan, fallainn roimpe a 

B' ainneamh a chunnacas riamh sitheanan fosgailte air an 
latha ; ach bu trie le daoine am f aicinn fosgailte air an oidhche, 

Seana Bheachdan, etc. 133 

gu h-araidh anns a' gheainhradh. Ged a chunnaic moran 
fo^ailte iad, cha robh de mhisnich ach aig fior bheagan na 
chaidh a steach annta.. Chaidh cuid a stea<;h, ma's fhior mar a 
chuala sinn, nach d' thainig am mach riamh, do bhrigh gu'n do 
dhichuimhnich iad an dorus a chiimail fosgaUte^ Feaa: sam bith 
a rachadh a steach, dh' fheiimadh e, nam biodh toil aige 
tighinn am mach, sgian, no tairig, no iarunn biorach sam bith 
eile a st0badh ann an nrsann an doniis. Bha e air a radh, gu'n 
robh an t-ianmn beanaaichte do bhrigh giir ann leis a lotadh 
lamhan, 'ycasan, agus taobh an t-Slanuighir, agus air an aobhar 
sin, nach\robh e an comas do na sithichean an lamh a chur air. 

Cha d: fhagadh cimntas againn mu thimchioU ni sam bith a 
bha 'n taobh a staigh dhe na sitheanan. ladsan uile a chaidli a 
steach anntai, bha 'n aire cho buileach air a togail leis a' cheol, 
leis an dannsa., agus leis a h-uile sngradh a bha dol air aghart 
annta 's nach do ghabli iad beachd air ni sam bith eile. Bha 
'n solus a bh' annta anabarrach boiUsgeil. Cha chualas riamh 
ciod an seorsa soluis a bh' ann. Ma dh' fhaoidte gur e an soluis 
dealrach, ur a fhuaradh am mach o chionn aireamh bhhadhn- 
achan, agus a tha nis ri fhaicinn air sraidean bhailtean mora, 
agus ann an taighean nan ard-uaislean, a bh' ann. Air aon ni 
tha iios againn, agus is e sin, nach robh eolas sam bith aig a 
chinne-daoin' air an t-solus so gus an do ?guir daoine bhith 
'faicinn nan sithichean. Is e an solus dealain a tha sinn a' 
ciallachadh. Tha 'n duine glic ag radh, nach 'eil ni iir sam bith 
fo 'n ghrein, agus ged nach 'eil uine fhada o 'n a fhuaradh am 
mach an solus so, bha e anns a' chruthachadh o thoiseach an 

A reir mar a chualas, b' e an fhiodhall an t-inneal-ciiiil a 
bh' aig na s\thichcan. Tha e coltach gn'n robh iad na'n luchd-ciuil 
anabarrach math. Cha 'n fhiosrach sinn gu'm bheil a h-aon 
dhe na puirt a bhiodh iad a cluich air chuimhne gus an latha 
'n diugh. 

Tha aobhar againn a bhith 'creidsinn gu'n robh tomhas mor 
de dhimeas aig na Gaidheil o shean air ceol na fidhle, agus tha 
amhams againn j2;iu' ann a chionn gu'm b' e an fhiodhall an 
t-inneal-ciuil a bh' aig na sithichean a thachair so. Ged a bha 
iad 'nan coimhearsnaich mhodhail, iomchuidh gu leor fhad 's 
nach cnirteadh dragli no tuairgneadh orra, gidheadh cha robh 
toil aig daoine bhith 'leantuinn an eisiomplair no an cleachd- 
aidhean ann an doigh sam bith. B' e a' phiob an t-inneal-ciiiil 
air an robh meas aig na Gaidheil, oir b' i inneal-ciiiil a' chogaidh. 
Dh' fhaoidteadh a seinn air na cnuio co dhiubh a bhiodh an 

134 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

t-side fluich no tioram, fuar no blath. Cha b' ionnan sin '8 an 
fhiodhaJl ; cha b' inneal-ciuil i a bha freagarrach air son a bhith 
'g a cluich am muigh air na cnuic. Agiis o nach cluiunteadh 
air astar fad' air falbh i, cha bu chebl i a dhiiisgeadh spiorad a' 
chogaidh ann an inntinn duine sam hifh. 

Am feadh 's su bha meas air a phlobaire, bha dimeas air an 
fhidhleir. Cuiridh an rann a leanas solus air so : — 

" Fidhlear is taillear is cat, 
Breabadair is greusaich' is muc, 
Maighstir-sgoir is cearc." 

Bhiodh am fidhlear 's an taillear, mar a bhiodh an cat, ri 
taobh an teine mar bu trice, agus anns an t-seann aimsir cha 
robh meas mor air fear sam bith ach fear treun,' tapaidh, a 
chothaicheadh e fhein air muir 's an tir. Ach is ann gle bheag, 
lag, meata a bhiodH fear mur rachadh aige air port a chur air 
fidhill, no aodach fhuaghal 's e na shuidhe ri taobh an teine. 
Dheanadh sithiche meata fhein so. 

Bhiodh am breabadair salach le armadh an t^snath a bhiodh 
'fighe ; agus Vhiodh an greusaiche salach le oUa 'n leathair ; 
agus, mar bu trice, cha bhiodh anns a mhaighstir-sgoile ach 
duine dis, meata, a dh' fheumadh a dhol fo fhasgadh an uair a 
shileadh an t^uisge, mar a dheanadh a' chearc. 

Ma bha gus nach robh an nine 'dol seachad gun fhios do na 
sithichean cha 'n 'eil e furasda dheanamh am mach. Ach tha 
e air aithris gu'n robh an uine 'dol seachad gun fhios gun fhair- 
eachadh do na daoine a bha ^dol a steach do na sitheanan. 
Faodar an sgeul a leanas innseadh mar dhearbhadh air so : — . 

Anns an am a dh' fhalbh^ bha moran dhe na Gaidheil a 
deanamh uisgeHbeatha gun fhiosda, agus na 'm faigheadh na 
" gaugeran" fios air, rachadh an glaoadh agus cain a chur orra. 
Dh* fheumadh an fheadhainn a bhiodh 'ga cheannach a bhith 
'cheart cho faicleach ris an fheadhainn a bhiodh 'ga dheanamh ; 
oir na'n rachadh an glacadh chuirteadh cain orra mar an 

Bha duine araidh ann aig an robh duil ri leasachadh teaghl- 
aich, agus o 'n a b' e a' cheud leanabh a bh' ann, bha toil aige 
deur math de mhac na braiche a bhith aige 'san taigh ; oir bha 
e 'na chleachdadh anns an am ud feusd a dheanamh an uair a 
bhiodh leanabh air a bhreith. B' e, " XJirlean," an t^aimn a bha 
gu cumanta air an fheusd so. Bha aig an duine so ri dhol air 
astar math fada dh' iarraidh an uisge-bheatha. Dh' fhalbh e 

Seana Bheachdan, etc. 135 

as an taigh am beul anamoch na h-oidhche, agus bha aige ri 
<ihol troimh mhonaidhean 's troimli ghai'bhlaichean mu'n mig- 
eadh e a' bliothag anns an robhas a' deanamh an uisge-bheatha. 
Bha e 'na dhuine laidir, tapaidh a choisicheadh air comhnard s 
air garbhlach cho math s cho sunndach ri fear a bha beo ri' 
latha 's ri Hnn. Agus ma bha bhothag fada naithe, cha robh e 
fada 'ga rnigliinn. O n a bha aige ri tilleadh dhachaidli an 
oidliche sin fhein, cha d' rinn e moran dalach anns a' bhothaig. 
Faodar a bhith cinntea<;h gu'n d' fhuair e de mliac na braiche 
na fhUuch a dha shuil cho Inath s a rainig e, oir cha robh luchd 
nam poitean-diibha, mar a theirteadh gii cunianta ris an fheadh. 
ainn a bhiodh a deanamh an uisge-bheatha gim fhiosda, riamh 
mosach no spiocach mu 'n uisge-bheatha. 

Mu' n d' fhalbh e, dh' ol e Ian no dha na shge gus luths is 
beothachadh a chur 'na chom agxis misneach a chur 'na chridhe 
's na inntinn. 

Air eagal gu'n tachradli duine sam bith ris air a thilleadh, 
ghabh e an rathad a b' uaigniche a b' urrainn e thaghadh. An 
uair a bha e mu leitheach rathaid, chual' e an ceol a b' aille s bu 
bhinne a chual' a chluas riamh. Thuig e anns a' mhionaid gur 
ann 's an t-sithean a bha 'n ceol. Bha e gu nadaora 'na dhuine 
a bha gu math saor o fhiamh 's o eagal, agus air shailleamh na 
dh' 61 e mu 'n d' fhalbh e as a' bhothaig, bha e 'g a fhaireachadh 
fhein cho laidir 's cho misneachail 's nach cxiireadh na bha de 
shithichean 's de " ghaugearan " anns an t-saoghal biorgadh 
•eagail air. Ghabh e direach thun an t-sithean. Mu 'n deach- 
aidh e stea<;h stob e an sgian ann an ursann an doruis. Bha n 
t-ancar uisge-bheatha a cheannaich e ann an chabh air a mliuin, 
agus o 'n a bha toil aige faighinn dhachaidh mu 'n soilleirioli- 
■eadh an latha, cha do leig e dheth an cliabh idir, ach sheas e far 
an robh e faisg air an dorus fhad 's a bha na sithichean a* 
•deanamh aon ruidhle dannsa. 

An uair a sguir an dannsa- ghrad thill e 'mach, agus thug e 
an sgian as an ursainn, agus thug e 'aghaidh air an taigh. Ar 
leis nach robh e bhar ceathramh na h-uarach, air a chuid a 
"b' fhaide, anns an t-sithean. 

Choisich e dhachaidh le deadh cheum. An uair a thainig e 
ann an sealladh an taighe, ghabh e ioghnadh nach robh e 
'faicinn soluis as. Bha e 'smaointean gu'm faodadh tinneas a 
bhith ann, o 'n a bha duii a h-uile latha ri leasachadh teaghlaich. 
Rud eile dheth, bha e 'smaointean gu'm bu choir do neach 
«iginn a bhith air a chois co dhiubh o 'n a bhiodh duil aca ris 
fhein dhachaidh. 


136 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

An uair a rainig e an dorns fhuair e air a chrannadh gu 
teann e. Ghrad bhuail e an dorus gu cruaidh, agus ghlaodh e 
riutha a ghrad leigeadh a steach. Bha 'bhean na cadal gu tram 
anns an leabaidh Wn am, ach an uair a dhuisg am bualadh 's a' 
ghlaodhaich i, ghrad dh' eirich i a dh' fhosgladh an doruis. Mu 
'n do dh' fhosgail i e, thuirt i, " Co sid?" 

" Tha mise," ars' esan, " fosgail thusa an dorus. Tha mi 
seachd sgith a' giiilan an eaUaich so o thainig an oidhche." 

" Feumaidh mi fios fhaotainn cb th' ann mu m fosgail mi u. 
dorus," ars' ise. ' 

" Gu sealladh ni math ort," ars' esan, " am bheil thu idir 
'gam aithneachadh ? Nach 'eil fhios agad gun dubhairt mi riut 
an uair a dh' fhalbh mi anamoch an raoir, gun tillinn cho luath 
's a gheibhinn mo ghnothach 1 Tha mi air mo sharachadh f o 'n 
eallach so s e air mo dhruim o 'n a dh' fhalbh mi as a.' Ghleann 
Mhor mu mheadhain oidhche. ' 

' Cha 'n fhosgail mise an doiiis gus am bi fhios agam co tha 
'g iarraidh a steach," ars' ise, is i air chrith leis an eagal. 

" An ann as do chiall a tha thu ?" ars' esan, " cha 'n f haod o 
bhith gu'n do dhichuimhnich thu mi. Is mise d' fhear-posda. 
Greas air an dorus fhosgladh." 

" M' fhear-posda !" ars' ise 's i 'freagairt. " Tha latha 's 
bliadhna o 'n a dh' fhalbh m' fhear-p6sda-sa as an taigh. Cha 'n 
'eil diiil agam ri sealladh dhe 'ghnuis fhaicinn gu brath tuiUeadli. 
( Jha 'ii 'eil slochd no cnochd, garbhlnch no comhnard, allt no 
bord locha, nach do shiubhail sinn g a iarraidh, agus cha 
d' fhuair sinn a blieo no 'niharbh. Mur do shhiii( an talamh e^ 
no mur do thog an t-adhar e, cha 'n eil fhios ciod a dh' eirich 

" An ainm an aigh, a Mhairi, sguir dhe d' bruidhinn 's leig a 
steach mi. Cha 'n e so am gu bhith 'deanamh spors is feala-dha 
air duine bochd a th' air a sharachadh idir. Tha uair aig an 
achmhasan is am aig a' cheilidh." 

Bhuail e anns a cheann aig Mairi gui* e tathasg Dhomhuill a 
bh' ann, agus chaidh i air chrith leis an eagal cho mor 's nach 
b' urrainn i an dorus fhosgladh ged a bhiodh toil aice. Ach an 
uair a chual' i bhith breabadh an doruis, dh' aithnich i gu'm. bu 
duine saoghalta 'bh' ann. Dh' fhosgail i an dorus, ach o 'n a 
bha 'n latha gun teannadh ri soilleireachadh, cha b' urrainn i a 
dheanamh am mach cb bh' ann. 

Mu 'n do tharr i sealltainn nice no uaipe chaidh Dbmhull a 
steach. Leig e dheth an cliabh air bathais an lirlair. 

Ghrad las Mairi an cruisgean, agus ciod a b' iongantaiche 

Seana Bheachdan, etc. 13T 

leatha na a fear-posda fhein fliaicinn beo, slan ma coiiineamh 
'na sheasamh air an. urlar ! 

" Ach c aite air an t-saoghal an robh thu o chionn bliadhna, 
'Dhomhuill ?" ars' ise. " Cha 'n 'eil e coltach gun robh suim 
agad dhiomsa, no dhe 'n leanabh a bha fhios agad a bh' air mo 
ghiulan, an uair a dh' fan thu fad bhadhna gun tighinn an coir 
an taighe. Cha n 'eil fear eile 'san duthaich a dheanadh a 
leithid. Cha robh thu fad' air falbh an uair a dh' fhas mis© 
tinn le anshocair chloinne.' 

" B' fhearr leam gu'n sguireadh tu dhe d' bhruidliinn gun 
doigh. Am bheil thu 'n duil gu'n creid mise bruidhinn dhe n 
t-seorsa sin? B' fhearr dhuit gu mor greasad air greim bidh a 
dheasachadh dhomh. Ged a fhuair mi mo dheadh shuipear o na 
gillean coire beagan mu'n d' fhalbh mi gu tighinn dhachaidh, 
cha mhor a th' air f aighinn dheth an drasta. So, so ; greis ort 
a^us faigh greim bidh deiseil a dh' itheas mi." 

' Cha 'n 'eil thu agad fhein, a Dhomhuill. Is math a tha 
fhiog agad gu'm bheil latha 's bhadhna. o *n a dh' fhalbh thu. 
Agus mur 'eil thu 'gam chreidsinn-sa, seall do 'n leabaidh ud 
shuas, agus chi w^iu do mhac 'na chadal innte. Tha e bliadhna 
dh' a-ois an diugh fhein." 

Eadar a h-uile connsachadh is comhradh a bh' aig Domhnull 
ris a' mhnaoi, cha d' thu^ e an aire y:,\\\\ d' thainij^ atharrachadh 
mor air a cimiadh o 'n a dh' fhalbh e. An uair a sheall e ceart 
oirre ghrad thuig e gu'm feumadh gun robh e na b' fhaide air 
falbh na bha e 'n duil. Gun fhacal a radh thog e leis an 
cruisgcan bharr an stuib air an robh c 'u crochadh, agus chaidh o 
far an robh an leanabh 'na chadal 's an leabaidh. Bha aois 
bliadhna de mhac cho mor 's cho tlachdar 's a chunnaic e riamh 
'na chadal gu seimh, socrach anns an leabaidh. "Is e so mo 
mhac gun teagamh. Tha e cho coltach ri Alasdaii- mo 
bhrathair 's a tha ugh ri ugh," arsa DomhuU gu beag ris fhein. 
Chrom e os a chionn aj^iis thu^* c pog dha. 

" Tha 'chuijs coltach, a Mhairi," arsa Domhnull, " gu'n robh 
mise iiine mhor na V fhaide air falbh na bha mi 'n duil. Tha 
'n gnothach a th' ann a' cur moran ioghnaidh orm. Innsidh mi 
dJiut a h-uile car mar a thachair dhomh. Rainig mi mu thrath 
suipearach a' bhothag. Agus an uair a irhabh sinn ar sni])ear 's 
a leig mi greis dhe m' anail, dh' fhalbh mi 's am buideal air mo 
mhuin anns a' chhabh. Air eagal gu'n tachradh duine sam bith 
rium an am dhomh bhith tilleadh dhachaidli, chomhairhch 
Eoghann Mor dhomh uabhail a h-uilc ceum ri srath na 
h-aimhne duibhe gus an ruiginn gualann Beinn a' bhric, o 'n is 

13S Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

c rathad is iiaigniche a th' eadar so 's an Glcanu Mor. An 
uair a bha mi falbh o 'n bhothaig 's an cliabh air mo niiiuin, 
thug Koghann Mor dhomh luma Ian na slige dhe 'n stuth bu • 
treise a bh' aca anns a' bhothaig. Thuirt e, " 01 a h-uile deur 
dheth, 'Dhomhuill. Is fheairrd thu fo d* aisnidh e. Bheir e 
misneach dhut gus a dhol ann an dail Cailleach Beinn a' bliric, 
ma thachras i riiit air an rathad." 

" An uair a bha mi 'dol sea^had air an t-sithean a th' eadar 
an amliainn dubh agus a' bheiim, chuala mi 'n cebl bu bhiim© a 
chuala mo chluas riamh. Chunnaic mi dorus an t-sithean fosg- 
ailte; stob mi an sgian anns an ursainn, agus chaidh mi staach. 
O n a bha cabhag orm cha do leig mi dbiom an cliabh idir. 
Cha robh mi 'nam sheasamh ach fhad 's a bha na sithichetan a' 
deanamh aon ruidhle dannsa. Ar leam nach robh mi na b' 
fhaide ann na ceathramh na h-uai-ach. An uair a thainig mi 
'mach, bha 'n oidhche cho dorcha 's a bha i an uair a chaidh mi 
steach. Is iomadh uair a chuala mi nach fhairicheadli daoine 
an nine 'dol seachd anns an t-sithean, agus ged nach robh mi g 
a chreidsinn, tha e coltach gu'm bheil © fior gu leor." 

'' Ach tha rud no dha ann nach 'eil mi idir a' tuigsimi," arsa 
Domhull 's e cur a laimhe air fhalt 's air 'fheusaig. " Tha fhios 
agad gu'm b' abhaist dhomh a bhith 'bearradh m' fhuilfc uair 
'san da mhios, agus a bhith toirt 'dhiom na feusaig uair s an 
t-seachdain. Ach ma bha mi bliadhna air falbh mar a tha 
thus' ag radh, nach iongantach nach d' fhas m' fheusag is m' 
fhalt mar a b' abhaist dhaibh. Agus a bharrachd air so, cha 
d' fhairich mi aon chuid sgios no acras no cadal fhad 's a bha mi 
anns an t-sithean. Tha h-uilo rud a th' ann a our anabharr 
ioghnaidh orm." 

" Biodh ioghnadh ort no na bitheadh is e an fhirinn a tha 
?nise 'g innseadh dhut. Agus mur creid thu mis©, cha n fhaod 
e bhith nach creid thu na coimhearsnaich. Gheibh mise fian- 
uisean gu leor a sheasas air mo thaobh." 

" Foghnaidh sid an drasta," arsa Domhull. " Greas thusa 
air a' bhiadh a dheanamh deiseil. Tha n t-acras gus mo tholl- 
adh. "Cha 'n 'eil ioghnadh ann ma tha thu gun ghreim o 
chionn bUadhna. Cha bhi mise fada deasachadh bidh dhut.' 

" Thug Domhull lamh air gimileid, agus thoU e am buideal 
uisge-bheatha, agus an uair a shuidh iad aig a' bhiadh dh' 61 e 
fhein is Mairi air a cheile." 

Air an latha sin fhein ghairmeadh na dluth-chairdean a^us 
na coimhearsnaich gu cuirm do thaigh DhomhuiQ, agus dh' oladh 
deur math dhe na bh' anns a' bhuideal mu n do dhealaich icid ri 

Seana Bheachdan, etc. 139 

Bha na Gaidheil a' creidsinn mar an ceudna gun robh eoin 
shithe ann. B^ iad so, a' chuthag, an treablina, agus an clach- 
airean. Bha iad a' gabhail beachd nach j'obh na h-eoin so ri 'm 
faicimi ach aig am araidh dhe n bhliadhna. Agus o nack robh 
fhios aca gun robh iad a' falbh as an diithaich so, an uair a 
thigeadh am fuachd, agus a' dol do dhuthchannan fad as gus an 
tigeadh aimsir bhlath na bUadhna, bha iad a' smaointean gur 
ann do na sitheanan a bha iad a' dol. Oha mharbhadh iad a 
h-aon dhe na h-eoin so air son rud sam bith. B' e an clach- 
airean a* cheud aon a thigeadh dhiubh. Bha h-uile duine a' 
gabhail beachd sonraichte air an aite anns am faiceadh e a' 
■cheud fhear dhiubh. Nam faicteadh e na sheasamh air talamh 
glas, CO dhiubh a b' ann air garadh phloc no air comhnard lorn, 
no nam faicteadh e an aite sam bith air iteig, bhiodh e na 
chomharradh do n neach a chitheadh e, gu'm biodh gach ciiis 
gus a dhol leis gu math fad na bhadhna. Ach nam b' ann air 
cloich luim a chitheadh duine e, bhiodh e 'na chomharradh nach 
biodh soirbheachadh aige fad na bhadhna. 

B' i a' chuthag an ath aon a thigeadh. Cha bu toit^h le 
neach sam bith a cluinntinn a' gairm an uair a bhiodh i air ur- 
thighinn, mu 'n itheadh e biadh. Theirear " an greim cuthag' 
ris a' bheagan bidh a bhios daoine gabhail gu math moch s a' 
mhadainn gus an latha n diugh. Tha n rann a leanas a' 
dearbhadh dhuinn gu'n robh na nithean so air an lan-chreidsinn 
's an am a dh' fhalbh : — 

" Chuala mi chuthag 's gun am biadh nam bhroinn, 
CJiunnaic mi n clachairean air cloich luim, 
Chunnaic mi n t-seilcheag air talamh-toll, 
Chimnaic searrach seann laracli 's chul rium, 
'S dh' aithnich mi nach rachadh a' bhliadhna leam." 

Bu ghle thoigh le daoine an treabhna a chluinntinn ; oil* cha 
chluinnear a guth sgreagach gus am bi cinneas math air feur 's 
air fochann. Ach ged bu toigh Icotlia cluinntinn, cha 
bu toigh leotha idir a faicinn an taobh a staigh 
de dhorus taighe. Nam faicteadh an taobh a a staigh de dhorus 
taighe i, dh' fhaoidteadh bhith cinnteach gun tigeadh^ air 
muinntir an taighe an imrich a dheanamh mu n tigeadh crioch 
air a' bhliadhna. 

O chionn aireamh mhor bhiadhnachan thoisich daoine am 
l^ithdheantas ri bhith cur teagamh gun robh sithichean is eoin- 
«hithe ann. Anns an am so, cha 'n fliaighear ach gann duine 
ann an aite sam bith a chreideas gun robh iad riamh ann. Agu3 

UO Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

cha n fhaighear duine idir a chreideas gum bheil iad ann a nis. 
Cha n eil duine an diugh beo a chunnaic no 'chuala riamh iad. 

Cia mar a thainig daoine gu bhith 'creidsinn nach 'eil 's nach 
robh sithichean is eoin-shithe ann? Cia mar a dh' fhuadaich- 
eadh na beachdan faoine so air falbh a measg an t-sluaigh? 
Dh' fhuadaicheadli iad le eolas air . nithean aimsireil agus 
spioradail. God a tha 'n soisgeul gle chumhachdach gu 
beachdan faoine agus cleachdaidhean amaideach fhuadachadh air 
falbh a cridheachan dhaoine, csha b' e 'na onar a dh' fhuadaich 
na sithichean as ar duthaich. Rinn an t-eolas a fhuair daoino 
air cimihachdan agus air obair nadair faisge air a cheEirt uiread 
a dh' flieum anns an doigh so. Is minic a chunnaic sinn daoine 
aig an robh eolas mor air an t-soisgeul, agus a bha eadhoin 'nam 
fior chreidmhich, a bha aig a' cheart am a' toirt tomhas de gheill 
do gheasalanachd agus do bheachdan faoine eile. Tha sinn, air 
an aobhar sin a' creidsinn gu n d' rinn na maighstirean-sgoile, 
cho math ris a' chleir, moran a chum iomadh beachd faoin agus 
amaideach 'fhuadachadh a measg nan Gaidheal. 

Snl FEHRUARY, 1808 

The office-bearers for 1898 were elected at this meeting. Mr 
James Eraser, C.E., chairman of the meeting, moved, and it was 
unanimously agreed to, to record the Society's deep regret at the 
death of Mr Alexander Mackenzie, pubUsher, Inverness, one of 
the Society's founders; and it was remitted to Mr Alex. Mac- 
bain, M.A., Mr William Mackay, honorary secretary, and Mr 
Dimcan Mackintosh, secretary, to draw up a minute of con- 
dolence, and send a copy of same to the widow of the deceased. 
Thereafter the Secretary read a paper, contributed by Mr Chas. 
Fraser-Mackintosh, LL.D., entitled " Minor Highland Families 
— No. XI. — The Baillies of Dunain." Dr Fraser-Mackintosh's 
paper was as follows : — 


Tliis family, which terminated in 1869 uj>on the death of 
WiUiam BaiUie, ran an honoured course in the neighbourhood 
of the burgh of Inverness, for upwards of foiu' himdred years. 

With one exception, connected with the winning and leading 

Minor Highland Families, 141 

of peats in the mont of Caiploch by the people of Inverness, 
against the remonstrances of the Baillies, every good feeling 
prevailed betwixt the Baillies and the town of Inverness. 

The distressing circumstances connected with the 14th and 
last of the Baillies, after attaining his majority, first commencing 
in India, and lasting over a period of nearly sixty years, aie so 
weU known that, when I come to write of him, the references 
will be brief. 

The first of the BaiUies of Dunain was named 

1. Alexander, said to be a younger son of the head of the 
ancient family of Lamington. He married Catherine, daughter 
of Duncan Grant, Laird of Grant, and settled in the North 
betwixt 1450 and 1460, and aU the Baillies claim that they are 
descended of the ancient house of BaUiol Alexander's ^dest 
son, Alexander, dying without issue, he was succeeded by his 
second son, 

2. William, and he by his son, 

3. Alexander BaiUie. The Baillies were protected by the 
family of Huntly, from their first acquiring the Castle lands, and 
the office of Constable of the Castle under the Gordons was held 
by at least three of the family of Dunain.. 

The oldest existing document, so far as known, goes no 
further back than 1554, when the name of 

4. David BaiUie, Constable, is mentioned, and of his wife, 
Margaret Rose of Kilravock. At same time, the name of 
Alexander, 3rd, father of David, as Constable of Inverness and 
Sheriff Depute, is found in the Sheriff Court Records as early as 

Colonel John Baillie of Dunain, after referred to, gives, in 
his MS. account of his family, the names of Alexander and 
WiUiam Baillie as the first and second of Dunain, as I have 
stated above. 

Upon 15th June, 1554, John Grant of Corrimony grants a 
bond over the naif of Sheuglie, in the paiish of Urquhart, in 
favour of David Baillie and Margaret Rose, signed in presence 
of George Strachan of Culloden, George Cuthbert of the Auld 
Castle, Provost of Inverness, and others, and to the infeftment 
foUowing, taken up on 17th September, 1554, are the following 
witnesses: — Donald og Macpherson, Allister mac Coil vie a 
Gowin, Donald mac Iain vie Finlay, David mac Iain vie Robert, 
Iain mac Allister vie Ruarie, James mao Conchie vie Duile, 
Finlay mac Hamish vie Soirle, and Ferquhar Macpherson, with 
WiUiam Cuming as nottar. 

U2 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Duiing the time of James Stuart, the Regent Moray, he 
granted, on no valid authority apparently, a charter of Dunain 
Mor and Dunain Croy to 

5. Alexander Baillie, as son and heir of David BaiUie, dated 
Elgin, 29th Aiigust, 1564. The above charter was inoperative, 
proceeding a mm habile ijotestatem. Alexander Baillie got a 
charter of Balrobei-t from George, Earl of Huntly, the superior, 
dated at Edinburgh, 15th August, 1571, one of the witnesses 
beingf Patrick Gordon, the Earl's brother. Alexander's sasine 
on the charter is dated 16th September, 1571, and amongst the 
witnesses were: — Alexander Roy BailHe in Lagnalian, Jasper 
Fleming, burgess of Inverness, William Macpherson, servitor to 
Dunain, and Thomas Aimand, servitor to John Gibson, the 

Alexander dying without issue, was succeeded by his brother, 

6. William Baillie, who gets a Precept of Clare Constat from 
George, Earl of Huntly, with consent of his curators, dated 
Tnvemess, 10th January, 1577. One of the witnesses is 
described, " Mr John Gordon, Rector of Petty." 

William Baillie, 6th of Dimain, was Provost of Inverness, 
and in 1583 he grants a Letter of Reversion, as son of umquhile 
David Baillie, Constable of Inverness, and Margaret Rose of 
Kilravock, his father and mother, and as heir of Conquest of 
umquhile Alexander Baillie, 5th of Dunain, his brother, in favour 
of George, Earl of Huntly, of the lands of Dimain Mor and 
Dunain Croy, on the narrative that his (William's) rights were 
of the nature of a wadset only to David Baillie, and that David 
and his wife gave their letter to* that effect, dated 27th August, 

Following upon this Deed of Reversion, matters were put 
upon a secure foundation, by George, Earl of Himtly, granting 
a new charter to William BaiUie, of Dunain Mor and Dunain 
Croy, with their sheillings in the Caiploch, the lands of Tor- 
breok and Balrobert, with their sheillings in Killievorskie (really 
Coillie-mor-na-Skiach). Upon this charter Provost William 
BaiUie was infeft. His sasine is dated 15 th June, 1590, the 
witnesses being Alexander Gordon, Dunain's servant; Allan 
mac AUister vie Iain dhu in Lagnalian; James Denoon, Dun- 
ain's servant; Donald dhu mac Conchie in Drinaincroy ; Finlay 
mac Vurich mor ; and Adam Dunbar, nottar. 

Provost WiUiam BailUe married Katherine Munro, daug-hter 
of Mimro of Milntown, Ross. After Dimain's death, she 
married John MacCaUum mor Macpherson in Breackachie. 

Minor Highland Families. ua 

Provost Baillie died early in 1606, for upon 1st May of that year 
George, Marquis of Huntly, grants a charter of Dunain to 

7. Alexander Baillie, William's son, now of Dunain. This 
chartei- is dated at Inverness, 1st May, 1606, John Grant of 
Freuchie being one of the witnesses. Alexander's infeftment is 
dated 9th June, and registration being now cx>mpulsory, it is 
registered at the Chanonry of Ross, 15th June, 1606, the wit- 
nesses thereto being John Cuthbert of Auld Castle Hill, Alex- 
ander mac Coil vio Ferquhar Maclean of Davochgarrioch, Alex- 
ander BaiUie of Dochfour, John dhu Baillie in Lagnahan, John 
niac Coil vie Iain in Dochnacraig. 

Alexander BailHe receives another charter from George, Earl 
of Enzie, with consent of the Marquis of Huntly, his father, ana 
Lady Anna Campbell, his spouse, of the lands of Dunain and 
Torbreck, dated Elgin and Bog o' Gicht, 15th February and 
10th March, 1616. 

In the time of this Alexander BailHe the family stood at its 
highest territorially, having consolidated what he inherited from 
his predecessors, including Dochcaims, and added the important 
estate of Dochnacraig, or Lochend, and valuable fishings in the 
Ness. He received a charter of Dochnacraig from the Earl of 
Enzie and spouse, dated 25th November and 8th December, 
1619, upon which he was infeft 11th December, 1619, registered 
at Chanonry, 3rd January, 1620, the witnesses to the sasine 
being Iain dhu BailHe in Lagnalian, Alexander mac Phadrig in 
Dochnacraig, WiUiam Baillie in Dochfour, William BaiUie in 
Dochnacraig, Hector Mac AlHster in Davochcaim, and Ferquhar 
mac Eachin, kis son there. 

Alexander Baillie was appointed Chamberlain for the Family 
of Himtly over their lands in Lochaber and Badenoch, by Letters 
of Bailiary, dated Inverness, 28th November, 1619. Finally, in 
1623, Alexander Baillie gets an ordinary charter of all his 
estates on both sides of the river Ness, with Garvamore, in 
Badenoch, in warrandice, from the Earl of Enzie, with consent 
of his father, dated at Inverness and The Bog, 8th and 9th 
May, 1623, Hugh, Master of Lovat, WiUiam, Lord Sinclair of 
Berriedale, and Thomas Eraser of Strechen, witnesses. The 
sasiiie thereon is dated 23rd May, registered at Chanonry, 12th 
June, 1623, and the witnesses, Alexander Maclean of Doch- 
garroch, Alexander BailHe of Dochfour, WUliam Baillie, his son, 
and Donald Mac Eachin in Dochnalurg. 

Alexander BaiUie's affairs being now on a very satisfactory 
footing, domestic troubles arose, particularly on the part of 

144 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

David and William, his brothers, who, it would appear, were 
jealous of liis growing prosperity. These began as early as 
1621, when on 15th June of that year Alexander Baillie had to 
procure letters from the Secret Council against them. It was 
intended to waylay him near Torvean, on his way back from 
Inveriiess to Dunain. Being dark, his servant was taken for his 
master, and received dangerous maltreatment. The old public 
road towards Dochgarroch and the Bona skirted the east slopes 
of the Torvean range. 

In 1633 James Cuthbert of Draikies pursue© Alexander 
Baillie of Dunain and Alexander Maclean of DochgaiToch, as 
sureties for the Earl of Enzie under their cautionary obligation, 
dated Inverness, 6th May, 1633. Dunain is discharged of his 
obligation 27th May, 1634. 

Alexander Baillie married Miss Munro of Fowlis, and had at 
least one daughter, Katherine, married to Malcolm Eraser, first 
of Culduthel, formerly styled " in Ruthven." His eldest son, 
William Baillie, married, in 1634, Isobel Forbes, daughter of 
Duncan Forbes, first of Culloden, then described Duncan Forbes 
of Bught. In the same year Alexander, William's father, gets 
all his lands confirmed by Royal charter. Besides his eldest son, 
William, Alexander Baillie had David, his second son, first of 
the present family of Dochfour, to whom he gave the lands of 
Dochcaims, by disposition dated 22nd October, 1657. His 
third son was Captain James Baillie, who got a charter of 
Knocknageal, part of Torbreck, dated 2nd July, 1639. His fourth 
son was named John, mentioned in 1638 and 1658. The latest 
date I have connected with Alexander Baillie is 1658. 

8. It was with his son, William, the 8th Dunain, that the 
serious disputes regarding peats with the town of Inverness 
occurred. He was also in trouble with his neighbour, John 
Maclean of Dochgarroch, as to their respective marches, settled 
for a time by the arbitration, on the grounds, of Lieut.-Col. 
Miles Man, Deputy Governor of. Inverness; Hugh Eraser* of 
Belladrum, Lachlan Mackintosh of Kinrara, John Forbes of 
Culloden, Hugh Eraser of Struy, and Alexander Mackintosh of 
Connage, Justices of the Peace for Inverness-shire, on the 27th 
June, 1659. William Baillie was a great sportsman, musician, 
and composer in Gaelic. His eldest son was 

9. Alexander Baillie, who received from his father a dis- 
position of the estates on 7th April, 1661, on occasion of his 
marriage with Jean Mackenzie, daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie 
of Coul, reserving certain rights. 

Uinor Highland Families. 145 

In 1663-67, Alexander BaiUie, younger of Ihmain, was in an 
impecunious state, with diligences against him in force. 

In one of the numerous attempts at a settlement betwixt 
Mackintosh and Lochiel, a meeting at Invemeas of the Chiefs, 
with thirty armed followers each, was arranged to take place 
before the Earl of Moray, upon Tonmahurich. Lochiel and his 
men encamped at Dunain, but not until WiUiam Baillie had first 
obtained a written assurance from Mackintosh that his giving 
accommodation to Lochiel would not be prejudicial. This curious 
document of assiirance is dated 8th June, 1664. 

In 1671, David BaiUie, first of Dochfour, with liis wife and 
family, had his residence at the manor place of Castle Spirital 
in Bona. 

In 1673, George, Earl of Panmure, Titular of the Tiends of 
the Parish of Inverness, granted a long taok, still running, to 
WiUiam BaiUie of Dunain, of the tiends of his lands within the 
parish of Inverness. 

In 1676, I observe the name of John BailUe of Mid Leys, 
first of the Leys family, cadets of Dunain. 

James Fraser, as baUie for WiUiam BaiUie of Dunain, holds 
a Baron Court at BaJrobert, upon 12th November, 1677. About 
this time the proprietors of Dunain and DoohgaiTooh adjusted 
their marches at the Tormore, part of which, termed '' The 
Gob," was cut away early this century, for its clay, in comse of 
the construction of the Caledonian Canal, leaving the present 
precipitous, ugly clay face at Dalrioch. By 1679 Alexander 
BaUHe, 9th of Dunain, is dead, leaving an only son, WUliam, 
who succeeded his grandfather. 

Isobel Forbes, Lady Dunain, on 9th September, 1685, makes 
her testament in favour of her husband, WiUiam BailHe. 
William BaiUie, 8th Dunain, died in 1691, for on 14th 
November of that year his grandson also, 

10. William, described as WiUiam BaiUie " now of Dunain,' 
enters into a contract of marriage with Mary Duff, eldest 
daughter of William Duff, Elder BaiUe of Inverness. Among 
the witnesses to the contract were WiUiam Mackintosh of 
Borlum, WiUiam Duff of Dipple, and Alexander Duff of Drum- 

Alexander Baillie, second of Dochfour, discharges William 
BaiUie of Dunain, for himself and as representing Alexander 
Baillie, his father; William BaiUie, lus grandfather; Isobel 
T'orbels, his ^^undmother; and Alexander BaiUie, his great- 
^dJt^ather, oi all claims^ dated at Bught, 8th September, 1692. 


146 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Upon the 20th of October, 1692, William Baillie of Dunain is 
similarly discharged of all claims competent to his mother, Jean 
Mackenzie, otherwise Baillie, and to WiUiam Fraser of Erchite', 
her present husband. 

William Baillie had a sister, Janet, who, upon 23rd Novem- 
ber, 1693, enters into articles of marriage with John Grant, 
yoimger of Glenmoriston, with consent of John Grant, elder, his 
father, the witnesses being Donald Macdonell of Lundie, William 
Grant of Achmonie, Alexander BaiUie of Dochfour, with others. 
Janet Baillie died shortly after her marriage, and the line of 
Glenmoriston was carried on through John Grant, the younger's, 
second marriage. Notwithstanding this connection, the B^Uies 
suffered much from the depredations of the Grants, who regu- 
larly swept off their cattle when summering in the hills of 
Dochnacraig, removing them very expeditiously to the west by 
Gartallie, Clunemore, and Bimloit. 

William BaiUie, as might be expected from his dose neigh- 
bourhood, helped the burgh of Inverness to erect the old stone 
bridge, over which he got a Tolerance, dated 26th September, 
1698. In truth, it may be said that, with the exception of the 
peat troubles, the family of Dunain were close friends and allies 
of the burgh, and later, towards the close of the eighteenth 
century, when Colonel John Baillie was recruiting for his 
Fencibles, he got great countenance from the authorities, and 
material support from the people. 

Dunain is made a free burgess and Guild brother of Dundee, 
on 6th August, 1697, and of Inverness upon 1st May, 1699. 
After his first wife's death, WiUiam BaUlie married secondly, on 
12th August, 1700, Helen Baillie, his cousin, eldest lawful 
daughter of William BailHe, Commissary of Inverness. 

Dunain gets a cKarter same } ear from the Burgh to a rood 
of land south side of Bridge Street, which had belonged to his 
grandfather, WUliam. 

Dunain's brother, Kenneth, is married 17th December, 1702, 
to Isabel Chisholm, lawful daughter to the deceased Alexander 
Cliisholm of Comar, with consent of her brother, John Chis- 
holm, now of Comar. Willic^m BaiUie and John BaiUie of Tor- 
breok, Kenneth's brothers, are cautioners, and among the 
bridegroom's near friends are Duncan Forbes of CuUoden, 
WiUiam BaiUie, commissary, and James BaiUie, writer, Inver- 
ness ; and on the bride's. Sir John Mackenzie of Coul, Kenneth 
Mackenzie of ScatweU, and Symon Mackenzie of AUangrange. 

Kenneth died in low water, November, 1705, but his widow 
is foimd on 16th October, 1736. The children emigrated,- imder 

Minor Highland Families. M7 

General Oglethorpe, to the new colony of Georgia, and there are 
existing descendants, with whom I had the pleasure of corres- 
ponding. The male Baillies have died out. Some letters from 
these Georgia BaiUies exist. 

William receives a charter to all his lands, in which his 
father, Alexander, stood inf eft, from the first Duke of Gordon, 
dated Gordon Castle, 27th September, 1708. The Duke would 
hardly carry a prize for spelling, as he signs thus — " Georg duk 
off Gordon." 

William BaiUie of Dunain was in considerable pecuniary 
difficulties, very much in connection with cautionary obligations 
for his brother, John BaiUie of Torbreck, Chamberlain for the 
Duke of Gordon, and in 1715 assigned all his heritable estate to 
his eldest son, WiUiam. This son, William, died prior to 1725, 
for in that year old Dunain, as representing his deceased son, 
William Baillie, younger of Dunain, is pursued by David Scott, 
burgess of Inverness. 

By contract, dated Dunain, 3rd June, 1731, Sir Archibald 
Campbell of Clunes marries, as his second wife, Magdalen, eldest 
daughter of William Baillie of Dimain. 

WilHam Baillie executes a disposition of all his estate in 
favour of his second, but eldest surviving, son, Alexander, dated 
at Dunain, 18th December, 1731, but survived until 1737; for 
in that year Alexander is described as " younger" of Dunain. 

11. Alexander Baillie of Dunain married, 24th June, 1737, 
Anne, third daughter of Sir Archibald Campbell of Clunes, con- 
tract signed at Calder. There was this curious connection, 
Magdalen and Alexander BaiUie, sister and brother, married Sir 
Archibald and Anne CampbeU, father and daughter. Alex- 
ander BaiUie's marriage was a happy one, for, writing from 
Dimain, 5th March, 1738, he gleefidly writes that he had come 
home with £250 of tocher in his pocket, acknowledging at same 
time his thankfulness for '' a good wife ; " and in his letters to 
India to his sons, WilHam and John, he refers most affection- 
ately to their mother as his only comfort and support. 

Alexander BaiUie of Dunain took no part in the Rising of 
1745^ further than by doing what he could to succour quietly 
distressed Jacobites, and the shelter and nourishment afforded 
by the " Soul Mor" of Dunain wa« constantly spoken of in my 
younger days. The only paper of the period I have seen has 
been lithographed and printed, being an order, in name of Prince 

Charles, dated Invss. March 1746,. signed by O'SuUivan, 

requisitioning eight horses and carts for the use of the forces. 

148 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

I have a document, dated 4th Deer. 1747, written by Alexr. 
Baillie, eldest lawful son of Hugh BailHe of Dochfour, when an 
apprentice to his uncle, Evan Baillie of Abriachan, and long as 
that date is separated from the present year (1898) by 151 years, 
a niece of Alexander's, who waa himself bom in 1734, stiU lives. 
The document above referred to is contract of marriage between 
Patrick Grant of Lochl^ter, with consent of his eldest brother, 
James Grant of Sheughe, and Katharine Baillie, only lawful 
daughter of David uaiQie, storemaster at Fort-Augustus, which 
David was, I think, brother of Alexander of Dunain. The con- 
tract is witnessed by a number of BaiUies, including Lieut. Wm. 
BaiUie, of the Earl of Drumlanrig's Kegiment. For deUvering 
an urgent message from Inverness to Dunain, a boy is paid, on 
20th April, 1748, the mimificent sum of two pence Scots, less 
than a farthing. 

Alexander BailHe had two sons, William, John, who suc- 
ceeded his brother, and two daughters. The eldest, Anne, 
married her cousin, Dr George BailHe of Leys, and the youngest, 
NelHe, married, as his second wife, Dr John Alves of Shipland. 
The boys were educated at King's CoUege, Aberdeen, under 
Principal Jack and Professor LesHe, letters from both, in the 
year 1756, being very compHmentary to the young students. 

The eldest finished his education at the University of Edin- 
burgh. Inclining to a military life, he was appointed, 18th 
October, 1759, 5iii Lieutenant in the 89th, or original Gordon 
Regiment, which was equipped by the Dowager-Duchess of 
Gordon, and commanded by her second husband. Col. Staats 
Morris. The regiment was immediately ordered to the East 
Indies, and many of his letters, and some of his journals at sea, 
remain. WiUiam BaiUie, after a few years, elected, in 1764, to 
remain in India, and joined the East India Company's miHtary 
forcea He rose but slowly, yet he pinched himself, and what- 
ever moneys he could save were regularly sent home, and the 
pecuniary position of his parents much ameliorated. Before the 
father's death, it may be said that the estate had been cleared 
by WilHam BaiUie's remittances. 

To the great grief of his parents, John Baillie, the younger 
son, displayed strong disinclination to a home Hfe, and nothing 
would do but to join his brother. This occurred in 1768, 
through the influence of Sir Alexander Grant of Dalvey, M.P 
Theomfteor, both daughters having married, and both sons in 
India, the old couple were left alone, and it is not surprising that 
in his parents letters to Colonel Wifliam, they are full of prayers 
for his speedy return and settling at home. 


Minor Highland Families. 149 

Aleacander Baillie died 30th June, 1771, his wife on 15th 
March, 1776, and he was ERioceeded by his eldest son, 

12. William. William's servioes at the taking of Pondi- 
cherry, the expedition against the Isle of Mauritius, and else- 
where, deserve recognition in a much fuller manner than is 
possible within the scope or linuts of this paper, suffice to say 
that Colonel William Bailhe fought his way up, in face of many 
discouragements and want of support, culminating in the fatal 
battle at Conjeveram, on 10th September, 1780, where his forces 
were overwhelmed by Hyder Ali, and he himself taken prisoner 
and moved to Seringapatam, where he died, after two years 
captivity, on 13th of November, 1782. Some of his letters and 
papers, which were afterwards dehvered up by the Nabob, 
remain, and the true account of that unhappy part of Indian 
history should yet be given. Lieut. Francis Baillie, unfortun- 
ately killed at Porto Nova, in India, in a letter to Dr Alves, 
dated Fort St George, 28th November, 1780, makes several 
significant references about the conduct of Colonel Hector Mimro 
of Novar, superior officer, .immediately prior to the battle of 
Conjeveram, and the ideas about Inverness, when the news 
came, even suggested betrayal. At all events, the brother, John 
BaiUie, wrote to Munro a very distinct letter, considering their 
rank respectively, on 27th March, 1781. 

13. John. Colonel John Baillie had a miserably anxious 
time during his brother's captivity. His promotion was, in his 
opinion, imduly kept back by Munro, and thus, although a bom 
soldier, he became so disgusted that ue threw up his captain/s 
commission and returned home, a disappointed and, as he felt, 
an ni-used man, arriving in Great Britain in the year 1785. 
Shortly afterwards he married his oousin, Isabella Campbell of 
Budgate, a lady of great tenacity in her views, the only diild of 
a simple couple, and during the whole of her life dominating her 
parents, husband, *nd children. Colonel BailUe continued the 
plantations of his hill grounds, begun by his late brother, built 
in 1790 the present house of Dunain, much enlarged of late 
years, bought plate and china of an expensive character, took 
out a game license, started a bleaching mill at Dunaincroy, and 
settled down to the life of a coim.try gentleman of easy means, 
not omitting, so as to avoid stagnation, a somewhat stirring liti- 
gation with his neighbours, Dochfour and Sir James Grant of 
Abriachan. A note of the salmon caught at Bona in 1785, and 
to whom sold, shows what splendid fish they were, running up to 
33 lbs., and the price only 2d per lb. AH this, however, could 

150 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

not satisfy the ".bom" soldier. He fretted and pined, until the 
exigencies of the times demanding the constant enhstment of 
soldiers, and forming of regiments, gave him his opportunity. 

The raising of Inverness Fencibles was a great event in the 
town of Inverness and neighbourhood. Dunain was first ap- 
pointed Major, afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel, and at great cost 
completed his regiment. Not only in the raising, but afterwards, 
Colonel BaiUie met with many crosses. He had raised 30 men 
T)eyond the requisite number, complaining that no fewer 
than 48 were improperly rejected. Then, by orders from head- 
quarters, his men were invited to join the 42nd, and offered a 
large bounty. Chafing imder these discouragements. Colonel 
Baillie addressed a vigorous but pathetic remonstrance to Secre- 
tary Dundas, that unless he was differently treated, it had been 
better his bones had rested in India with those of his ill-fated 
brother. The regiment was ordered to Ireland, then iu a dis- 
turbed state, and Colonel Bailhe was seized with illness, which 
terminated fatally at Kilkenny, 1st February, 1797. 

Colonel Baillie left three sons and two daughters, all young. 

The suddenness of Colonel BaiUie's death, and the mal- 
administration of the regiment's affairs by its army agents, 
proved serious, and it was not until 1809 they were settled, 
resulting in so serious a loss to Colonel Baillie's family, following 
on the heavy bounties he had paid at the enrolment, that the 
estate was involved almost beyond recovery. 

To the Colonel's nephew, Mr Archibald Alves, and his 
friend, Colonel Donald Macleod of Achagoyle, afterwards of St 
Kilda, father of Sir John Maopherson Macleod of Glendale, '^he 
greatest credit is due for their exertions to preserve the estate 
from insolvency. Colonel Baillie, to obUge the Alves family, 
purchased the estate of Shipland. This estate and Dochnacraig 
were schediiled in an application to the Court of Session for 
judicial sale. Most fortunately, however, the Caledonian Canal 
operations involved the compulsory acquisition of part of the 
Dunain estate, which brought in about £4000, and Ship- 
land brought in about £5000, a great deal more than 
it oost Colonel BailUe. These were the times when lands 
near Inverness brought 50 to 70 years' purchase of the rentals. 
Matters were continued in the charge of Provost Gilzean, Mrs 
Baillie postponed her claims, and thereby the creditors were 
padfied. By and by, every farthing of debt was paid off. 

14, William. WiUiam Baillie, the eldest son, was carefully 
brought up, and his great natural talents developed by a liberal 

Minor Highland Families. 151 

education. In justice, it must be said that his mother did not 
treat him with the affection she bestowed on the younger sons, 
Archibald and Alexander. Her second daughter, Anne, was 
also kept at a distance. 

The three boys were all sent to Aberdeen, under charge of 
Mr Ewen Madaohlan. The youngest, Alexander, died there, 
and had his virtues celebrated in verse, " Ode to Alexis," by his 
master, while the career of the second, Archibald, his mother's 
favourite, destined to proceed to India, was out short by an 
illness, leaving him unfitted to make his way in the world. He 
died about 1818. 

The eldest daughter, Katharine, married, when very young, 
Hugh Eose of Kilravock, and died at an early age, leaving 
children whose descendants ultimately succeeded to the estate. 

Miss Anne Baillie died unmarried, and several acts of kind- 
ness to me, when a small boy ia her neighbourhood at Doohna- 
liu-g, I gratefully remember. 

It was first intended that WiUiam Baillie should become a 
lawyer, and he was apprenticed to Mr Kenneth Mackenzie, 
W.S., in 1806. He took a dislike to the profession, and his 
mother crossing him in a love affair at Edinburgh, Mr Baillie 
availed himself of the opportunity of his brother's incapacity, to 
take up the appointment of writer in the East India Company's 
service, which had been obtained by the influence of Charies 
Orant, senior. All his letters, up to his arrival in India, which 
occurred in 1811, show a refined and cultivated mind, but traces 
are not wanting of pride in family and oonoeit of knowledge, 
forboding danger of over-strained intellect. Upon his arrival at 
Bombay, with letters to Sir James Mackintosh and others, he 
became unsettled and extravagant, and without apparent good 
reason, started off for Persia and Bagdad. Ihiring his lengthened 
journey he made copious notes, showing an intelligent and 
observant mind, but returned in weak health to Bombay, having 
spent a good deal of money. To save his Hfe, he was ordered 
home, and arrived in London ill 1814, but all was in vain. His 
mind had given way, and in 1816 he was placed under a curator 
bonis, and so continued under successive curators until his death, 
in 1869, a period of 53 years. 

The estate was well managed, so far as regards the proprietor, 
but the people were gradually cleared out. At Balnagaick alone 
there was, withiri my own recollection, seven families, and I may 
be allowed to congratulate myself that, when the estate was 
under my charge, 1869-1872, six houses were erected by Sir John 
Ramsden for cottars, and all occupied at Balnacraig. 

152 Gaelic Society ef Inverness. 

After Mf Baillie's death, the estate sold for £60,000, and 
there were aocumulations of aboiit £30,000, which fell to thr€e 
heiresses portioners, Mrs Rose, Mrs Dealtry, and Mrs Innes, the 
descendants of Mrs Katharine Eose of Kilravock, the only mem- 
ber of Colonel John BailHe's family having issue. 

The Baillies, prior to the Reformation and since, have been 
buried in the Grey Friars at Inverness; and while clearing up 
and levelling the Dunain portion, a headless figure was brought 
to light, since inserted in the wall, the only rehc, except the 
sohtary pillar, remaining of the ancient monastery. There is 
little doubt that this figure represents the famous Alexander, 
Earl of Mar, who died at Inverness on 26th July, 1435. 

If, as I trust, there will be a Book Club at Inverness for the 
editing and publishing of Highland Family History, I am glad to 
say that ample material exists for an interesting volume regard- 
ing the Baillies of Domain. 

10th FEBRUARY, 1SD8. 

At the meeting this evening Dr Gordon Lang ; Mr John Mac- 
donald, wood merchant ; Sherift Scott-Moncrieff ; Major Ferguson ; 
Dr Alexander Maclcay ; and Mr E. A. Mackintosh, Southwood — 
all of Inverness; and Rev. D. Campbell, Petty, were elected 
ordinary members of the Society. Thereafter Mr A. MacBain,. 
M.A., read a valuable paper entitled, " Early Highland Personal 
Names," which was as follows : — 


In my paper in the 20th volume on the " Old Gaelic System of 
Personal Names," I shewed that the most characteristic names 
among the ancient Gael were double-stemmed : Murchadh, for 
example, from Celtic Mori-catu-s, " Sea- warrior," and Finlay 
(popularly Old Gaelic Find-laech, a Fair Hero), older Findlugy 
from Vindo-lugu-8, " Fair Winner." Then I shewed how such 
names as Findlug, Findbarr, Findguine, Findcath, <fec., were 
curtailed into pet forms, mostly with only the root firtd left, 
these being the diminutive names Fintan or Finnan, Findoc or 
Fionndag, and Finne, even Finn or Fionn alone, thus giving rise 
to the adjective names Fionn, Flann (red), Donn, Dubh, and 

,Earln f^/gf^l^nd Pergonal -Hantea, 153 

others. The animal nameg so common among the Gael may have 
been curtailments like the above from double-stemmed forms, or 
they may have been given directly, as the later MathghamhaiD| 
bear, certainly was. The peculiar Gadelic development of a name 
with two elements, one governing the other in the genitive, was 
also explained, such as Cu-chulainn, "Culann's Hound," Donn- 
sleibhe or Donleavy, " Brown of the Hill," and Maol-iosa or 
Malise, ** Christ's Devotee." In this paper I propose to deal with 
the development and results of the Gadelic or Old Gaelic system 
of names among the Scottish Gaels. 

The elements of the double-stemmed system of names may be, 
for clear and popular purposes, summarised in two columns : the 
first column contains the stems, now roots. only, which usually go 
to make the first element of the name ; the second column con- 
tains the roots usual as second elements. But some roots have 
both characteristics. In the following lists the italic forms are 
older Gaelic, and the medial consonants, inclusive of wi, are not 
aspirated : — 

Aed, Aodh, **fire" -2ed, "fire" 

Aon-, *'one, unique" - -all { — valo-s), ** wielding" 

Art, " bear" -barr, ** head" 

Cnth-, " battle" -beartach, " powerful" 

Car-, " love" -hne, -bhne, " being, going" 

Cell-, "war" -car, "dear" 

Ciar-, " dusky" -cath, ** battle" 

Com-, Comh-, " with" -ceartach, " director" 

Con-, " high" -cohar, " help" 

Domhn-, " world" -cu, "dog" 

Donn, " brown, lord" -donn, " lord" 

Each-, " horse" -gart, " head" 

Eo-, " kind" .gal, " valour" 

Fael, Faol, " wolf" -gel, " white" 

Fer-, "super, 'man" -gan, "kin" 

Find', Fionn, "white" -guin, "kin" 

Flaith-, " dominion" -gus, " choice" 

Gorm-, " blue" -lug, -lach, " winning" 

Zw^-,god"Luga," "winning" -laech, -lagh, " hero" 

Mac-, " son" -mac, " son" 

Muir-, "sea" -nia, " champion" 

Niall, " champion" -ri, -raigh, " king" 

So-, Su-, " good" -thach, ** -ious" 

Tighearn-, " lord" -tighearn, " lord" 

154 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

By joining elements from the one list to those of the other, 
we get our best known names, and also many obsolete or absorbed 
hames. Aodh, ** fire," gives us M*Kay ; with an, offspring, before 
it, we get Cionaodh or Kenneth, now obsolete. The clan name 
M'Kenzie comes from Coinneach, Old Irish Cainnech, ** Fair-one;" 
but Irish M*Kenna and Galwegian M*Kinnie is from Cionaodh. 

Aon-ghus, ** Angus," is at once seen to mean " Unique Choice.' 
Hence M*Innes, M*Ainsh, M*Nisli, Guiness. 

Art gives the Irish O'Hart ; from Cymric we borrow Arthur, 
which is from this root. Hence the clan name M* Arthur. 

Barr, "head," gives us St Barr, whence the island name of 

From cath, fight, comes Donnchath, '* Brown fighter, Lord of 
fighting," for donn has both meanings. Hence M*Connachie. 
Cathal is for Catu-valo-s, ** war-wielder." Hence M*Kail, Call. 

The root car, love, gives us Carthach, ** One to be loved," 
whence the great name of McCarthy. Terminally we have it in 
Fear-char, " Very deor," whence M*Erchar and Farquharson. 

From cell, war, Teutonic hild, comes Ceallach, ** warrior," 
whence M*Kelly, Kelly ; borrowed by the Norse as Kjalakr, it 
remains in the Isles as M*Killaig and in the island name 

The prep, com, with, along with ghan, gives Comgan, ** Con- 
genial," a well-known Saint's name, whence old Gille-chomghain, 
later M^Cowan and Cowan. 

Con, " high," goes along with numerous roots ; Con-all is the 
older Cuno-valo s, " mighty-wielder ;" Con-cbobar is now Conachar 
or M*Concher, still an existent clan in Lorn — it may mean 
** mighty help" or ** Co-help," likely the former. 

Domhn- means "world," hence Domhn-all or Donald means 
" world-ruler ; " Domhangart, " world's head," pronounced Dona- 
ghart. From the former comes the great name of Macdonald, and 
from the latter Clann Ille-Dhonaghart or Gil-Domangart's Kace, of 
Benderloch, now Macdonalds in English. 

Donn, " brown or lord," gives Donn-chath or Duncan, as 
already seen, whence M*Connochie and M'Conkey. From Donn- 
gal comes Donnelly. 

Each " horse," appears twice, each time with a " lord : " 
Eachunn ( = Each-dhonn), "Hector," and Eacharna ( = Each- 
thigheama), from which last come M*Echem and M*Kechnie ; 
Gaelic for both is M*Eachama. Eachunn gives M*Eachan, Gal- 
wegian M*Geachan. 

The obsolete prefix Eo- means "kind;" it is best known in 
Eo-ghan or Ewen, which is practically Eugenius. Hence M*Ewen. 

Early Highland Personal Names. 155 

From Faolan, " little wolf," come M*Ghill' Fhaolain or M*Lellan 
and Gilfillan also. A further diminutive is M*Giir Fhaolagain, 
which appears as M'Killigan. 

From Fer comes Fer-char or Farquhar, and Fer-gus, " super- 
choice," whence Fergus-son, M*Kerras, <fec. 

Fionn is a heroic name ; it is not uncommon historically. The 
diminutive Finnean gives M^Tll'-fhinein or McLennan ; Fionnd6c 
gives M*Iir-fhionndaig or M*Lintock. M*Kinnon is for MThion- 
ghuin, " Fair-born-" Finlay in Scotland is for Fionn-laoch, ** Fair- 
hero," a popular change for Find-lug, " Fair-one of Luga," the god 
of arts* and culture, or, perhaps, "Fair-winner" simply. Hence 
M*Kinley, Finlay son. Macpherson's Fingall was probably founded 
on the Macdonaid title of High Fionnghall, " King of the Norse," 
or King of the Isles. Fingall means " Fair-stranger," or Norse- 
man, and it was used as a name — once by a King of the Fingall — 
a King of Man and the Isles, in the 11th century. I find also a 
Canon of Wilthern so called in the 13th century. The Dubhghaill 
or ** Black Foreigners " w^ere the Danes ; and they have left the 
name Dubhghall or Dugald, whence M*Dougall and M*Dowall. 
Finnghuala or "JFair-shoulder " is the Finvola of the charters and 
the present Fionnaghal or Flora. 

Flaith, " dominion," appears in Flaith-bheartach, " Dominion- 
holding," whence the Argyleshire M^Larty and the Irish Flaherty. 
Gorm-fhlaith, " blue-ruler," and the later Gormla, is a female name, 
well known in Highland tales, but long obsolete. 

Gal with comh gives Comh-ghal, i* Co-brave," whence Cinel- 
comhghail, ** Cowal's kin," now Cowal, the people giving as usual 
the name to the district. So with Lorn also. 

Lug^ "small," with laoch or lack gives Lulach, the name of Mac- 
beth's successor; hence the M*Lullichs and the Argyleshire 
M*Cullochs. No doubt the Ayrshire and Arran M*Clew, M*Cloy, 
and M*Cluie come from the old name Lughiidh, a derivative of lug 
" winning, Luga ;" and St Mo-luac k a diminutive from Lughaidh. 

Mac, "son," is used adjectivally in the sense of "young." 
Thus Mac-nia means " Youthful champion," and seems to be the 
origin of the name M'Nee ; for though that name is now pro- 
nounced M*Ree (as if it were "King's son"), yet in the 15th 
century documents, such as the Exchequer Rolls, we have indubi- 
tably M*Knee, and tne Dean of Lismore gives M*Onee. Cormag is 
for Corb-mac, ** Son of the chariot " = charioteer. Hence M*Cormic. 

Naturally the sea has given many names, of '.vhich the most 
important is Mur-chadh (*Mori catu-s), " Sea- warrior," whence 
Murchie, M*Murchie, Murchieson. Murchadh and Muireach are 


156 Oaelic Society of Inverness. 

regarded as one, but this is not so. Muireach is for a fuller 
Muireadhach, an older Muiredach ; and this is explained by an old 
gloss as meaning " lord." A shorter form muire means " steward ^ 
in Early Irish, from the root ttiot, powerful, Gaelic murrach, rich 
( = mur-thach) ; ultimately the t*oot is the same as that of mdr. 
Hence M*Vurich, Murdoch, Currie ( = Ma-CTurie). Lost in these 
two — Murchadh and Muireach — is the famous old name Muir- 
cheartach, "Sea-ruler," which appears as M*Murrarty, M*Vurarty, 
M*Quartie in older documents, and now as M*Kirdie and M'Mutrie. 
The Gaelic is M*Urardaigh at present. Muir-gheal, " sea-white," 
is the female name Muriel. 

Niall or Neil means " champion." A derivative is Niall-ghus^ 
" Choice-champion," which gives the Irish M*Nelis, but by a law 
of vulgar phonetics the Lowland M*Neilage. In a similar way 
M*Ambrois (Ambrose) gives M*Cam bridge, and MThetruis gives 
M*Fetridge. So Scotch rubhage is for rubbish, and Irish carddge 
for carcase. 

Ruadh-ri or Rory means " Red-prince." 

From so-, m-, good, we have Suibhne ** good going one," the 
opposite of Dnibhne ; whence Sween and M*Queen; Irish M*Sweeuy, 
and O'Duinn from Duibhne. The Norse-Danish Sweyn gives Suan^ 
that is, M*Suain or M*Swan. 

Tigheama, " lord," gives the name Tighearuan, a saint's name 
found in that of Kiltearn. For M*Eachern, see under Each. 

The modern Highland names and surnames from animal 
names are few. Cailean or Colin appears in Gaelic about 1400- 
1450 as Cailin ; in charters it is Colin as far back as 1300-1400, 
then the name of the earliest Campbells, a South Perthshire name,, 
probably a dialect form for the older Culen or (Latinised) Canic- 
ulus, whelp. M*Cnlloch seems undoubtedly the "Boar's son;'^ 
and the name M'Crdin, or " Pig's son," was known in the Isles. 
Martin (1700) tells us that in Jura he was told that one of the 
natives, called Gillouir MacCrain, lived to have kept one hundred 
and eighty Christmasses in his own house. " He died about fifty 
years ago," he adds, " and there are several of his acquaintances 
living to this day, from whom I had this account." The name 
also appeors in Islay in the 17th century : Murdoch M*Rayne, 
1686, and with the secondary genitive in -ich we have John 
M*Kanich gorrme M*Kay, in 1642, as well as Donald gorrme 
M*Ranie choU of the same date and place (Ballinicill). The 
Mathesons or MacMhathans derive their name from mathghamhain, 
the bear ; and St Catan, " little cat," as we shall see, gave hia 
name to Clan Chattan. An interesting branch of this Clan is the 

Early Highland Personal Names. 157 

Shaws : the modern Gaelic of the name is Seaghdh, Na Se'ich ; 
but it is clear that this pronunciation was influenced by the 
English spelling Shaw, which itself had been adopted from the 
great Ayrshire and Stirlingshire families of Shaw, de Schaw 
of the Ragman Roll, from shaw, wood. We know the old form of 
the name : Sythach Macmallon was a bondman in Badenoch in 
1224-33; Ferchar, son of Seth, is a Badenoch witness, evidently 
the seneschal, in 1234 ; a charter of 1338 speaks of Scayth, son of 
Ferchard, as holder of the " stye h an" of Dalnavert ; Wynton 
gives one of the leaders of the clans at the Perth Combat of 1396 
as Schir or Scha, while Major spells his name Sceach. This 
points to a Gaelic name Sitheach ; and we know it to have been 
common. Sithach was a Culdee of Muthill, 1178 ; Seth MacLeod, 
in the Dunfermline Charters, 1230; Scheoch, tenant of Finbelach 
in Strathern, 1480 ; Schiach M^Keich (M'Sithich), in Weem, 1638 ; 
Its female form was Shihag, Delnies, 1649 ;. Shiack Nein Finlay, 
Ferintosh, 1650, and Shiak Nein Donald, a neighbour of hers; 
Shiag, at Leys, Inverness, 1678. Sithag of Lennox was the 
spouse of John of Lorn. As a surname we have the modern 
Shiach represented from 1455-1462 by John Schetho, Scheoch or 
Scheo, king's cursor, and in 1456 Thomas Scheoch, similarly 
engaged, while John Scheach appears at Inverness in 1451. In 
its patronymic shape we saw it already as Schiach M*Keich, 
Weem, 1638, which represents the Book of Deer's Donnachac 
M*Sithig. The name is also M^Keith, and in either form was 
common in Breadalbane three hundred years ago. The word 
sithech means " wolf," and no doutt M*Kichan is a diminutive. 

We now come to the cu and maol class of names. The only 
name with cu as prefix that has come down to our time is con- 
nected with the pipers Rankin of Mull, i hey were known as 
Clann Duilidh, but the name was Conduiligh among the family. 
This is Cu-duiligh, translated by O'Donovan as avidus canis,^ 
though diiiligh seems rather a genitive than an adjective, from 
diiil. These Rankins had a "college" at Kilbrennan, on the 
Torloisk estate, Mull. The last professor was " Eoghan Mac- 
Eachain 'ic Chonduiligh" circ. 1754. Neil Rankin is mentioned 
by Johnson in his tour of 1773. Neil, who died in 1819, had a 
large familjr, some of his sons entering the army, and some going 
to Prince Edward Island. Of these Major Conndulli Rankin dis- 
tinguished himself in the American war of 1812-4, and in 1837 in 
the Prince Edward land agitation, siding with the people. It is a 
curious fact that Conduiligh is given in the 1450 MS. ag great- 
great-grandfather to Gilleoia, ancestor and name-giver to the 


158 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Macleans. He was Abbot of Lismore, and had two brothers, Cu- 
catha and Cu-sidhe ; from the former came the Clan Concath of 
Lennox (not identified) ; from the latter the Clan Consith of Fife 
(unidentified). Their father was Raingce (circ. 1100-1150), which 
can hardly be separated from the later Rankin, though this name 
seems English, a diminutive of Randolph. It is remarkable to find 
in Ireland a contemporary chief called Oengus mac mic Rancain, 
surety to a charter in the Book of Kells. M*Rankin was a name 
known in Glencoe and in Ayrshire. We have Duncan M*Donchie 
Vc Crankane in Glencoe, 1617, and Johne Oig MTrankeine, 
servitor at Dunan in Rannoch, 1618; while in Glengirvane, Ayr, 
in 1563, we find Henry M^Rankyne, Neil M*Rankyne, in Glen- 
gorane, by Maybole, in 1608, and Neil Ranking orM*Ranking on 
Blaquhan estate under Kennedy of Blaquhan in 1610. The 
Highland Rankins (Glencoe, <fec.), are in Gaelic called individually 
Mac Raing. 

The words maol and gille give almost numberless names, some 
of them now difficult to unravel. The former is popular in 
Ireland, the latter in Scotland, where maol is rather rare, com- 
pared to gille. In fact, gille usurps the place of maol in very 
many cases. They both mean much the same when placed before 
a saint's name : Maolcaluim and Gillecaluim both mean " devotee 
of St Columba." Whereas gille is used only with saints' names 
and adjectives — save in rhe cases of Gille-'bhratha, "Servant of 
Judgment," whence M*Giilivray, and Gill'-oufhaidh, ** Servant of 
Storm, ' maol can be used with nouns of all kind, concrete and 
abstract. Maol-onfhaidh, ** Servant of Storm," is Donald Du of 
Lochiel's father ; but, as usual, maol gave way here even to gilltf^ 
and later we have Gill'-onfhaidh or Gillony, whence the M*Gillonys 
or M 'Lou vies of Strone, an old sept of the Camerons. We may 
suspect that as Gill'-onfhaidh replaced Maol-onfhaidh, so Gille- 
bhrath, of M'Gillivray, must have replaced an older Maol-bratha. 
Maol-betha seems to have been a side form of Mac-beth, ** son of 
life ;" for we find from the Saxon Chronicle that in 1031 Canute 
got submission from King Malcolm and two other kings — 
Maelbaethe and Jehmarc. This is no doubt Macbeth, King of 
Moray ; and it is to a certain extent a proof of this that in 
Macbeth's country of Moray the name still exists. There is and 
was a sept of the MacBeans — the clan which really now repre- 
sents the name Macbeth — in Alvie known locally as Clann 
'Ac-Al-bheatha, Clan M'Malbeth. This is explained locally in 
true mythic fashion. The first of the race was a child found on 
Alvie moor after the Culloden flight ; he was fair-haired, and 

Early Highland Personal Names, 159 

found under a birch bush (geal beitkj, hence the foundling was 
called Mac-geal-bheith, ** white son of the birch." It is needless 
to comfute this even by pointing out the misuse of geaL The 
name undoubtedly is Maol-beatha, ** servant of life." 

About 1100 maol still held supremacy over gille: in the Book 
of Deer we have 10 or 11 names with mat as prefix as against 7 
with gille. Thus: Mal-brigde, **St Bridget;" Mal-bricin, ** St 
Bricin" (from breac); Mal-echi or Mal-aechin, probably "St 
Eochaid ;" Mal-colum, *' St Columba ;" Mal-girc, better Malkire 
(circ. 1214), '^St Cyricus ;" Mal-mori, ** St Mary;" Mal-petri, 
"St Peter;" and without saint names — Mdl-duib (gen.), 
"Black;" Male-donni, no doubt Mael-duin, "Fort-Chief" {mdl, 
chief, confused with maol), but possibly " Brown devotee ;" and 
Mal-snecte, " servant of snow." Of these Maolbrighde, Maol- 
peadair, Maolmoire, Maolcolum survived, the former two early 
giving way to gille forms. Maoldubh and Maoldonn also resulted 
in gille forms. The gille names in the Book of Deer are : Gille- 
brite, *' St Bridget;" Gille-calline, "St Callin," no doubt (circ. 
464), an Irish saint, known in St Callen (Sir Robert 
Gordon), with which compare Malcallan, Archdeacon of Aber- 
deen, about 1180; Gille-comded, "the Lord's ^^i7/e ;" Gille-crist, 
"Christ's;" Gille-micel, "St Michael;" Gille-pelair, *'St Peter;'' 
and Gillendrias, "St Andrew." These all survived, save the 
second and third (but we have Gylchomedy, the King's cook, in 
the west in 1379), for many centuries as Christian names, and 
Gilleoriosd is not dead yet as such, Englished as Christopher or 
Christin. Gille-bride was a favourite name, and the surname is 
still known in Perthshire, &c. — M*Ilvride (Gaelic Mac 'Ilbhrid ; 
Arran M*Bhridein) — where in olden times it was also much used, 
as in the Lordship of Doune (Makilbred, Makgilbred, M'Gilbrid, 
1489-1490), M,Ilvreid, 1612; the Archdeacon of the Isles in 
1476 was a M'Ylwyrd, which puzzling form is cleared by a 
correcter one in 1480 — Makkilbreid. In English Mac Bride now 
stands for it, and for the side form M*Bhiidein, Latinised 
Bridinus, which also was a common Christian name. Gillemichel, 
Gillandrais, and Gillepheadair are now represented, as is Malcolm 
and Gillecoium, by the saints' names simply — Michael, Anndra, 
Pcadair, and Galium. It is so with the other saints' names also. 

The commonest of the maol names in olden time« were Maol-moire 
and Maol domhnaich, or " Lord's Devotee ;" these have survived 
till the present day, in the Isles especially. They are Englished 
respectively by Miles and Ludovick. The former has some 
resemblance to Maolmoire — the Irish translate their Maol mordha,. 

160 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

•** niiglity lord," also by Miles — but Ludovick and Maol domhnaich 
have nothing in common in form or meaning. The name was 
common in Glen-Urquhart — Muldonich often in the 1545 tenants' 
list — and the name Ludovick or Lewis, ''Famed warrior," was a 
favourite Grant name. This may account for the interchange. 
Maoliosa, " Christ's Devotee," was a favourite all along — known to 
Scotch history as Malise and to modern surnames as Mellis — until 
the greater favourite Gilliosa or Gillies ousted it two centuries 
ago. Gillies itself is now dead as a Christian name. After mac 
in surnames and patronymics, it i« difficult in this name and in 
many others to decide whether we have maol or gille to deal 
with : both aspirate the first letter, which practically disappears, 
and all there is to guide us is the timbre of the vowel before I. We 
know that M'Aldonich (1723, a sept of the Buchanans) is for 
M*Mhaol-domhnaich ; the name Gille-domhnaich is very ran) (yet 
Andrea M'Giiledonich and M*Yldonich, 1504, in Easter Ross). 
But it is sometimes difficult to say in the case of M'Olchalluni 
— a common form in the Black Book of Taymouth — if we have 
always M'Mhaolchalum, for both Maolcalum and Gillecalum were 
used then seemingly indifferently. The surname M'Leish appears 
in 1542 as Makleis (Muthill), which points to M'Gillios, as does the 
modem form itself ; but the Black Book of Taymouth has again 
maol forms: M'Coleis (1638); in the Privy Council liecords — 
1613 for North Perthshire — Maleis M'CoUeyis ; and in the lona 
charter of 1580, Gillechrist Og M'Culeis. Against this place the 
patronymic (Argyle, 1596) M'llchallum Vc Ilishe. 

Maoldomhnaich was a favourite name among the early Earls 
of Lennox — Maldounech (1225) and Maldovenus (1235), comes of 
Levenach. We have also Maldofeni M*Gillemychelmor in Luss in 
1300. The form is also Maldouiny. This must not be confused 
with Maldwinus or Maldunus, the name of the 8th bishop of 
St Andrews (circ. 1055) and Moldone Farquharsone, Rainy of 
Easter Ross, and Muldoune in Urray, both in 11307 ; this is the 
ancient Maeldiiin as already mentioned in connection with the 
Book of Deer. The name Brown soaietimes represents Gaelic 
M*Ille-dhuinn, and possibly also the older M'Mhaoildhuinn. St 
Oongal is the patron in the name Maol-conail : Mulconeill M*Neil 
N<^Nicoll. Trottemess in 1624 ; he is Malaneill Maknicoll in 1581, 
the **officiar" of the district. The old Galwegian name of 
Molegan or Muligan appears in Strath tay in 1480 as Mulikyn 
M'Gillane : modem Gaelic Maolagan, Old Irish Mdelecdn, a double 
diminutive of m^aol, whence the sumame Milligan. The following 
are the undoubted names of Culdees in the early charters and 

Early Highland Personal Names. 161 

records, IJOO tp 1300): Malcolm, Malkirg, Malbride, Malpol, 
Gillefali, Mathalan, Cormac, Sithach, and the foreign names John, 
Andrew, and Bricius. The latter name has probably given 
M*Elfrish, that is, M'Gille-Bhris ; compare M'Elroy from M*Gilroy, 
"red lad." Among the Culdee names maol is commoner than 
gille^ as in the Book of Deer. The only Scottish king's name in 
which maol appears is Malcolm ; there i? no gille name on the 
Kings' list of names. Two names of legend should here be men- 
tioned : Maolciaran (St Ciaran), whose sad fate it was to be the 
last of the Picts ; and Maolruanaidh, '* Champion Devotee," 
who appears in the beautiful lullaby of ** Maolruanaidh a' 

Gille is used either with saints' names or with the commoner 
adjective? descriptive of personal characteristics : Gille-Brighde, 
Gille-b^u, ** fair gille^ The word gille is much corrupted after 
mac ; the g disappears, and the first syllable becomes il or ^7/, as 
in Giir Sheathain, M*Illeathain, and, lastly, simple I for ill — 
M*Leathain, now in English M'Lean, "St John's slave." The 
Black Book of Taymouth, among others, shows extraordinary 
curtailments of this kind : M*Lechrist for M*I]le-chriosd ; M*Levor- 
rie or Maklivorrie for M*Ille-mhoire ; M*Lehoan for M*Gille- 
chomhghain, *'St Comgan"; M*Lephadrick for M^Gillephadraig ; 
and M Lecheir and Maklinow for M*Gil]e-chiair and M*Gille-naoimh. 
Indeed, I after mac usually indicates a curtailed gille. 

Names more or less familiar in an English garb wiil be taken 
first of the gille and saint names : — 

St Adamnan : also a peculiar Scotch double diminutive, Adhagan 
( = Adamacdn), whence the Strath tay sept name M*Lagan 
(the first a is long) ; in 1529, in Strath tay, Don. Maklaagan, 
which shows the vowel long ; Geo. M^Lagane, Dunkeld, 
1587, Dune. M'Clagane, minister of Logierait, 1632. The 
name Gill' Adhamnain w^as a favourite M*Neill name — 
Gilleownan Makneill, 1427, Gilleganan Makneill, 1545, and 
in 1456 Gillewap, Gillonan Maknele of Barra in 1517, 
GiJlownane McNeill in Islay, 1686. The famous MS. of 
1450 gives a genealogy of the Clan ** Mhic Gillaagamnan," 
which Skene fancied wrongly to be the M*Lennans. 
St Bridget : Gille-Brighde, whence M*Ilvreed, still a Perthshire 
name, and M 'Bride (Gaelic, MacBhridein). As a personal 
name, Gille-brighd is common all along, from the Book of 
Deer downwards. 
St Bricius, the Gaulish 5th century saint. His name was a 
favourite personal name from 1100 to 1300 — as Bishop 


162 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

Bricious of Moray ; now it is the Scotch surname Bryce. 
M^Elfrish seems from M*Iir Bhris. 

St Eman ; Gaelic larnan, Latinized Ferreolus, *' Iron-one." 
Hence M*Leanian. This is Gilleveman in the Black Book 
of Taymouth, from MoEmAn, ** My St Eman." More 
common is Gille Mernock, from Mo-Em6c. Gille-memock 
M*Gillanders in Ayrshire in the 12th century, Giilimemock 
M*Eane V*Connachie, Laragis, Argyle, 1622. As a sur- 
name: Juhn M*Ilvarnak, 1579, Fynnart of Luss, Don. 
M*lllevernock is in the Black Book of Taymouth, 1627, the 
same name belongs to a servant of the Archdeacon of the 
Isles, 1678, and Arch. Graham or M*Illevernock was last 
Bishop of the Isles (1680-90). In short, M*Gille-Mheamaig 
is the Gaelic for Graham in Argyle, popularly explained as 
from Gille-bheamaig, ** servant of the bite" ov greim, that 
is, Graham ! A sept of Grahams must have got this name 
from an ancestor, or the M*[lvemocks adopted the land- 
lord's name of Graham, Duke of Montrose, who held the 
Buchanan and other lands. 

St Fillan: Gaelic Faolan. Hence GilP fhaolaiB, whence Eng. 
GilfiUan. GilfilJane MTatrick gives bond to Glenorchy, 
1573 ; in fact, it appears often as a Christian name in the 
Black Book of Taymouth. In a Lennox charter of 1217, it 
is Gilfelan. Two clan names are hence : M*Lellan, that is, 
M*Giir Fhaolain, and M^Killigan, which in Gaelic is M*Giir 
Fhaolagaiu, double diminutive of faol, \fo\l. M*Killicau 
was famous as an ecclesiastical name in Easter Ross in the 
17th century, and its habitat since 1600 was Ross and 

St Finnan, St Findoc or Fintoc. This also gives two sept 
names: McLennan and M*Lintook. M*Linton, from 
Finntan, was also known. M'Lennan appears in Ayr and 
Wigton as John M^Clynyne, 1529, and M*Clanan, 1592. 
The Ross-shire clan is a branch of the Mackenzies. The 
M'Lintocks. belong to Luss and thereabout. The Dean of 
Lismore has M^Gillindak. M^Lintok, two, in Balloch, 1607 ; 
they Englished themselved as Lindsay as early as 1611. 
On ihis Allan Dall, in his poem to the Lochaber Volunteers 
in 1795, says : — 

Ciamar tbeid na h-uaislean cruiim 
Gun Lindsay 'bhith san airimh 
Ga 'n ainm Ceilean Mac Illiuutaig 
Le thionndadh an Gaidhlig. 

Early Highland Personal Names. 163 

St Ibar. This gives Gill Ibhair, whence possibly M*Liver; the 
i of the latter, however, is long. It is an Islay name ; 
Lord Clyde was really a M*Liver, not a Campbell. John 
Koy M'Gilliver, Islay, 1C86; Ewne MTinla VcGillevir, 
Kilchoan, 1618 ; also M*Ileur, Islay, 1733. It is confused 
often with M*Clure. 

St John. John in Gaelic is Iain ; it was also anciently E6in 
and Seathan. From the latter comes the usual form of 
M*Iiean. The Christian name was usually Gille6in (1326, 
Gilhon). Hence the English Gilleon. 

St Thomas. Gaelic is now Tomas; but older dialects had 
Tdmhas, whence MTavish. Gil-Tavish appears as M*Laws 
and M*Lehose. Gilles Makgilhoise was keeper of the 
Royal Park at Stirling, 1479 ; Pat. Makgilhois, Kippen, 
1510; J. Makgilhewous, Menteith, 1465 and 1622 
M'llhoise; Duncan M*Ilhaos is one of DunoUy's men in 
1623. Gille-Thomas, Dunfermline Charters, 1230. 

The gille names of Gillies and Gilchrist, already discussed^ 
give M'Leish and M'Gilchrist. 

There are in Gaelic several M*Gille names that have other 
renderiugs in English. St Mary gives Gillemoire, a favourite 
name, whence i\i*Il]emhoire, Englished as Morrison, a strong sept 
in Lewis about 1600. M*Illemhichail, from Michael, is now 
Carmichael — really an Ayrshire place-name. A sept of McDonalds 
in Benderloch are called in Gaelic singly M'lUe-Dhonaghart, from 
St Domangart. 

Latterly the saints' names were used without the gille both in 
Gaelic and English. Nevertheless the old forms had gille. 
Calum is for Gilliecalum or Maolcolum ; the clan name is 
M'Callum. The following saints' names are now used with mac 
simply, whereas some three to six hundred years ago gille was 
generally prefixed : Patrick ; Calumba ; Thomas or Tamas ; 
Comgan (M^IU'Cho'an, now M'Cowan and Cowan) ; Michael ; Paul ; 
Munn (Mo-Fhindu or St Findan, formerly M*Il-mun, now MThun 
and Munn, cousin to M*Lennan and M*Lintock) ; Martin (regularly 
of old M*Gillemertyn or such) ; Andrew (formerly Gillandrais, a 
favourite personal name, now the surname Gillanders — the Rosses 
were, as a clan, Clann 'Ic Illanndrais), now, as a sept, M*Andrew. 
St Catan gave the name Gillechatain, whence " Clann Gillecatan,** 
or "Clann an Toisigh" (MS. 1450), now simply Clann Chatain or 
Clan Chattan. 

164 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The following are obsolete names formed from saints' names 
with Gille. Only one or two specimens out of many, in some 
instances, are given : — 

Barre. Nevinus M*Gilvar, Wigton, 1430. 

Berchan. Gillebarchane M^Kerres, Strachur, 1547; Mllle- 
varchaii, Glenorchy, 1594. 

Ciaran. M*Ilcherrane, Bute, 1696. 

Coinneach. Makquylquhynnhe, Bute, 1504 ; Don. M*Gil- 
quhinye, Strath tay, 1480. 

Congal. Colano M*Gilcungil, Moray, 1224-31 ; M'Gilchonil, 
1499 (common). 

Constantin. Gille-constentin, Dunfermline Charters, 1^30. 
This name has been wonderfully ** transmogrified," 
appearing as Consland (Kilchonsland) and in personal 
names as Coiseam. M*C6iseams were a sept of the Mac- 
intyres, mentioned in the 17th century, and rendered 
famous in literature by Duncan Ban calling his gun 
Nic Coiseam. There is a sept of Macdonalds still living 
not far from Dun vegan known as Mac Coiseam. 

Eochaidh. Hence, aeemingly, the common Galwegian name 
Makgilhauch(e), 1426, &c. ; Makclouch, 1500. 

Eoghan. Male. M'lllewyne, Glenorchy, 1582. The 
Makillewynes gave their *' bond" to Glenorchy in 1585. 

Lughaidh. Molu'oc. Gillemolooc, St Andrew's Priory Charters, 
1 2th century ; Gyllemallouock Macnakeeigelle, bondman, 
Badenoch, 1234. 

Michael : Michin. Gillimichin M*Rowtalgar, Atholl, 1622. 

Serf or Servanus. Gille.serf, Dunfermline charters, 1230; 
M'Gilherf, Galloway, 1296. 

Talorgan. Gylletalargan, Aird, 1206-31. 

The use of gille with one or two names denoting ecclesiastical 
office falls now to be noticed. Giir Easbuig or Gilleasbuig means 
the "Bishop's gille," and was very common both in Scotland and 
Ireland. The first Campbell mentioned in our records was 
Gillespie Cambell of Menstrae and Sauchie in 1266, and the 
Campbells ever after showed a fondness for the name. It has 
been Englished as Archibald ; possibly the arch, since it appears 
in arch-bishop, may have suggested the correlation of the names. 
Otherwise there is no connection either in sound or roots. Archi- 
bald means " Right Bold." No M*Lespick has survived, but the 
border and Lowland Gillespie is therefrom. Gille-clery appears in 
the 12th century as the name of an Earl of Mar — Gylleclery ; 

Eatly Highland Personal Names. 165 

M*Gilclerich, Lochtay, 1480. There are several cases of Mac 
GiUThersoD, or *' Parson's gille ;'- Malcolm M*Ilfersane, Islay, 
1614; Johnne M'Eane V<^ Bayne V<^ Ilphersane, Cawdor, 1613; 
and Alexander M'llfersane, minister of Kinloss, 1618. The only 
other case of such names — and one that is still with us — is the 
interesting one of Gille-Deoradh, the Dewar's or Pilgrim's gille. 
The Gaelic deoradh^ Irish dedraidh^ meant a pilgrim originally, 
but the function of the Scottish Dewars in historic times was to be 
keepers of Saints' relics, especially in the case of St Fillan's 
crozier. It is now the surname Dewar or M'Indeor, the former 
common in Perthshire, and tlie latter in Argyle, and especially in 
Islay. The clan Dewar appears in the 14th century, in connection 
with Glendochart, as possessors of the Coygerach or crozier of St 
Fiilan ; the lands of Evich, in Glendochaart, are in 1336 confirmed 
to Donald M'Sobrell dewar Cogerach, ** the Dewar or anchorite of 
the crozier." Finlay Jore has his Coygerach rights reaffirmed in 
1428, Malice Do'ire has a renewal of the same in 1487 under 
letters from the Privy Seal. In 1552 the Dewar lands, which 
were hitherto free, aie made to pay taxes, being regularly feued 
then to Malise Dewar ; the Campbells got them in 1575, sold by 
Donald Dewar ; who, however, gets other lands for them. He is 
called Donald Makindeora vie Cogerach in Glenorchy's charter. 
The Coygerach relic was in Malice Doire's possession at Kiilin in 
1782, though the Dewars were then landless. After emigrating 
to America with the family, the crozier of St Fiilan is now happily 
in the Edinburgh Museum. There were other Dewars who had 
other relics of St Fiilan — the Dewars of the Bernan or bell, Dewar- 
na-Ferg, or of the mallet (?) ; Dewar-na-Mayne (Dewar of the 
Hand), and Deore de Meser, or Dewar of the Basin ; the five relics 
being thus the crozier, bell, mallet, hand and basin of the Saint. 
There were Dewars and Dewar lands at Kilmahug in Menteith, at 
Muckairn, in Lismore (for the hachul mJor of St Moluag), and at 
Strowan in Stratheam. 

The name appears now in the English forms of Dewar and 
M*Indeor, both extending back to the 15th century. The form 
M*Doir appears in the Dingwall Presbytery Records (John M*Doir, 
Kilteam, 1672), besides M*Indoir (Kiltearn, 1684). It is common 
in the Black Book of Taymouth, as MTndoir (1560) and allied 
forms. There are three Gaelic forms — Deor, M'An-deoir, and 
M*Tir dbeora or M'lll' eora (Islay) ; the latter means the Son of 
the Dewar's-^t7/€. Gille-dheora is parallel to Gilleasbuig, Gille- 
phearsoin, and Gillecleirich, already discussed. Gille-deoradh 
rarely appears in an English dress, such as M*Leoir and, sometimes. 

166 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

M*Lure. The Ayrshire and Galwegian M'Glure or M'Lure seems 
to be M*Ghilluidhir, but the Skye MXeoirs or M'Lures belong to 
the Dewar derivation. It is right to say that M*Ille6ra has been 
explained (as by Dr Maclachlan) as ** Servant of the Book," where 
there are both phonetic and historic difficulties. The name is 
known in Galloway and Dumfries as M*George now, but in olden 
times it was M*Jore or M'Joir (latter in Dumfries, 1565, M*Joyr, 
1601), for it can be traced in one family thus — John M*Jore, Urr 
of Kirkcudbright, 1691, father of John M*Jore, Gockiick, Urr, 
1710, and then comes John M*George of Cocklick in 1751. 

Gille was also used with adjectives to form some Christian 
names, and patronymics in a much greater number. The reason 
for this disparity of use is simple : the gille plus the adjective was 
more commonly a nick-name than a Christian name, as "An 
Gille Dnbh," **Mac a' Gille-dhuibh," &c. The commonest and 
most assured of such as a Christian name is Gillenaomh. This in 
Irish, however, was Gille-nan-naomh. In the 12th century the 
Christian name is Gillenem (Melrose Charters), the next century 
Gillnef (Carrick and Stratheam) as well, which appears in Bute as 
Gilneff (1566), though the usual charter and record form is Gilnew. 
The surname is Mac-Ghillenaoimh, Englished as M'Niven, which is 
really from Noomhan, a very common name four or five hundred 
years ago, Latinised as Nevinus. It was a favourite in Galloway 
and Ayr, where also M*Nevin appeared (1598, 1600 in Wigton, for 
example). The M*Nivens were the possessors of the Barony of 
Dunachton till the heiress married Mackint.^sh in 1497, and the 
name of M*Gillenaoimh is still connected with the **Erd-hou8e," near 
Belleville, in Badenoch. The M*Nivens were connected with the 
M*Naiightons in Argyle ; they held farms round Lochawe, and 
there is M*Niven's Island in Loch Mor of Craignish. They also 
migrated to Islay. One of Barbreck's followers in 1623 was 
Duncan M*Nicoll V*Nevin. 

Other examples of gille with an adjective doing duty as a 
personal name are — with dar, Gilleker M*Mulich, Strathtay, 
1480; with diihh, Galloduf (1224, Paisley Charters), Gildow 
MTaye, Perth, 1471 ; with glas, Gilleglass M*Daw^y, vicar of 
Petty, 1462, and the Dean of Lismare's poet — In GlUe-glas 
M'Intalyr ; with odkar^ Martin's Gilleouir M*Crain, the ducenten- 
arian who died fifty years before his time in Jura; with mdr, 
Gillemoir Maierith, Luss, 1610. 

The commonest patronymic and surname of this form is 
M*Ghille-riabhaich, which was popular both in Galloway (and 
Ayr) and in the Highlands generally. In the former district it 
appears as M*Ilwraith (Mackilwraith, Carrick, 1538, Makilreve 

Early Highland Personal Names. 167 

Dumfries, 1539). The name still exists in Uist, but is swallowed 
up in English by Macdonald. In fact, Buchanan (1723) says 
the M'llrevies were a sept under Clanranald. The usual written 
form is M*Gillereoch, but we have M'Gillereith (Benbecula, 1622, 
M'Gillirick (Abertarflf, 1634), M*Gillerawyth (Glenlochy, 1506). 
The surname appears in Glasgow now as M*Ilriach. It is and 
was a Kintyre name, so inscribed on tombstones some two 
generations ago — Macillriach, but to-day it is curtailed to the 
Anglified form of Revie ! The term Mac-an-Riabhaich is an 
opprobrious one in Gaelic : Son of the Brindled One it means as 
it stands, and riahhack is thus regarded as another name for the 
Devil, as it was also the title of the Campbell of Ardkinglas. But 
the an here is for Iain, ** John," and Iain Dubh is a mild 
sobriquet for the Devil, just as Iain Riabhach seems to have 

Gille-dubh undergoes some puzzling transformations. It often 
appears within the last four hundred years as M*Gillewie, a form 
still existent in Perthshire (Taymouth Black Book, Makgillewie, 
1586, Millie wie, 1638): Inverness, 1545, Makgillewye ; and in 
Braemar and adjacent districts it was common in the 17th 
<jentury (M*Gillewie, M*Gillivie, M*Gilliwie, M'Gillavie, 1699). 
It is also a present day surname as M*Aldowy. M*Gilleduff, 
Petty, 1502, shows a well-preserved form. Six Appin M*Ildeus 
or Blacks were in the 1745 Rebellion. 

The following is a list of the most prominent patronymics and 
surnames formed with gille and adjectives : — 

B4n. The great Ayrshire family of M'Gilvain or M*Gilwain of 
Grummet; also M*llvane (Argyle, 1600), M'Gillebane 
(Dingwall, 1555). Now M'llwain and Whyte. 

Buidhe. M*Ilbowie, May, 1733, but now simply Buidhe — 
Alasdair Buidhe. English Buie. 

Carrach. John Makgillendris Makgillecarryth, Dalcross, 1502. 

Ciar. The M*Gillekeyrs were a sept under Glenorchy, to whom 
they gave their bond in 1547, owning him as their "ken- 
kynie." The name is common all over the north. 

Crom. M*Ilchrom, Monteith, 1612; M*Ghille-chruim is Englished 
as Crum. 

Donn. M*Ghille-dhuinn ; Eng. Brown. 

Dubh. Discussed above. 

Garbh. M*Illegarj6f (Black Book of Taymouth, where it is 

Gobhlach. M*Ghillegholich, Glenlyon, 1706 ; doubtless they 
were Campbells. 

168 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Glass. M'Gilleglas is a very common name. Its side-form is 

M*Glaisean, now M*Glashan. The name Glaisean was 

used. Glaschen M*Gow, Dumfallandy, 1473. Glaisean 

Gobha, tradition says, was one of Lovat's men in 1493. 
Gorm. M'Ghilleghuirm ; an Argyle name, translated Blue. 

Gillegorm was a hero of the Maclennans, ancestor of the 

Maol. M*Gille-mhaoil is a very usual Gaelic for McMillan, 

which also is rendered M'Mhaoilein. Hucheon Makgille- 

muill (Nairn, 1492). 
M6r, Gillem6r. Used as both Christian name and surname. 

M'Gillivoir, Boleskine, 1674. 
Molach. Makillevollach (Black Book of Taymouth, 1585). 
Manntach. Donald MacgilJivantic, Crathie, Laggan, 1806, a 

Macdonald really. Clann Mhic-Ghill-Mhanntaich were a 

sept of the Brae Jjochaber Macdonald s. 
Naomh. Already considered. 
Odhar. M*Gille-uidhir. Hence M*Clure, M*Lure, common in 

Galloway and thereabouts, of old and at present. Sir 

Herbert Maxwell explains M*Lure as M*ljuibhir or Leper's 

Kuadh. M^Ghille-ruaidh : Makilroy (Bute, 1529). The Black 

Book of Taymouth has M*Ciulroy (1638). The English is 


17th FEBRUARY, 1898, 

The paper for this evening's meeting was the second portion 
of an interesting contribution by Rev. John Kennedy, Arran, on 
" Poems from the Maclagan MSS.," which was as follows : — 


Oban do Dhonull Gorm,* 

Tainistear Ghliim&-Gara, a thuit an Raon-ruaruidh, 

Le Nighinn Mhic ic Raonuill a bhean fein. 

Cha d' fkuair mi 'n rair cadal 
Air leaba 's mi 'm Guar, 

Ach ag amxiain air an t-aiteas (auimhneao]i an) 

A dhleachd mi as m' oige^ 

Poems from the Maclagan MSS. 16^ 

Mar re Tainisteoir beachdoil 
Ga 'm biodh meas agus mor-chius 
Ard Chrunoir nam bratach ; 
Cefud nan creach a nach. beo thu ! 

Ooh nan och gnr mi 'n t-Oisem (an txdreadh) 

'S mi mar choslas Maol-chiarain ; * 
Tha mo ohridh' air a dbochnadh 
Mar gu'n goirtiaheadh. scian e; 
Air a lionadh do thursadh 
Mar cuidich thu Righ mi ; 
Cha 'n f haod mi bhi f allain 
'S nach. mairihionn mo chiad-ghradh. 


'S e do latha Raoin-niamidh 

Dh.' fkag luaineach. mi m' umtinn; 

Chaill mi sealgair na beinne 

Mar re oureachdas frithe; 

'Nuair a thigeadh tu dhar-thigh (dhachnidh) 

Cha bhiodh tacar a dhith orm ; 

Och nan ochoin mo leonadh 

Dh' fhag sibh Donull 'na shineadh. 

Fhuair mi crannchur nach b' fhiu mi 
Dol an tus an aois m' oige, 
Ann an inbhe 's an onair, 
'S ami an oir6achtas mor-chnis', 
Ann an rioghalachd pearsa, 
'S ann an deachdannmbh mora; 
lar-ogha RaonuiU nam bratach, 
S e do leagadh a leon mi. 

Oeist nam ban o chill-iona, (-iana) 

'S trom honta do d' ghradh mi, (hointe) 

Mheud 's a thug mi do m' speis duit 
Dh' fhag f ui eislein gu brath mi ; 
'S e chuir ceil air mo radharc (mail') 

Nach taghaill thu t-aroe ; ('n t-aite) 

Ge d' fhaighum mo roghainn 
Dol ad dhiaidh 'se b' fhearr leam. 

* Am fear mu dheireadh de na Cruithnich. 

170 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

O 's maith thig dhuit bogha 
Cniaidh foghamteadi laidir, 
Agus teaf aid chaol soorraoh 
Bheireadli ceannuich. a Flandras ; 
Mar re glac a chinn leathainn, 
'N deas da f adhairt o'n cheardmch ; 
Sud air geal-ghlac mo chridhe 
Dheanadh Siothann mar b' ail learn. (Bhiodh) 

'S maith. thig cloidheamh. air chrios diiit, 
Air do shlios air dheadh charadh, 
Agus targaid nan inneal 
Air an t-slinnein nach scathach : 
'S mi gun eaxbadh sud asad, 

Dol an cathuibh do namhuid (baiteal) 

'S tu b' urradh ga chasgadh 
'Nuair a lasad tu 'n t-ardan. (lasadh. ort) 

Alias — 'S maith thig cloidheamh air chrios duit 
Air do shlios mar bu dual duit, 
Agus breacan caol daite, 

'N (fh)eile phreasuich mu'n cuairt duit ; (dhosuich) 
'N uair a ghlacadh tu 'n claidheamli 
'S ghabhadh tu 'n cruadal, 
'S mairg fear do mhio-ruine 
Air am bruchdadh am fuathas. 

O 's maith thig dhuit gunna 
Beirt nach fhiiras leam aicheadh 

(Or, Beirt a b' fhnrus sud fhaodain) 
Ann do laimh bu mhaith cuimjseadh, 
Bu neo-iomarlach lamhach ; 
'N am dol air do ghliin duit 

(Or, 'N uair a chaogadh tu 'n t-siiil ris) 
Bhiodh t-fhudar 'na smaluibh; 
Cha y fhaJlainn aig t-eirigh 
Macvan-fheidh ; bu tu namhad. 

Poems from the Maclagan MSS. 


'S maith thig daga. ghorm ghlas duit (piostal) 

'S i bhi 'n taice re d' chruachainli 

Ann an lubaibh do bhreacain 

'N dels a phascadh mu 'n cuairt duit ; 

Kinn thu dion dhe do cfalaidheamli (de do) 

'N uair a chaith thu do luaighe ; 

'S mi dh' fhag deadh fhear an tighe 

Ann an latha Raoin-ruadhruidh. * 

Tha sneachd air Beinn Laomuinn (Loimunn) 

'S tha ni' s leor air na Laircibh ; 
'S gu 'm facadh mi latha 
Gu 'm V aighireach t-abhaist ; 
Teamadh 'stigh leis na tbmuibh 
Ann an cromadh na faire; 
Gheibhteadh altuchadh beatha 
'S f ear-an-tighe 'na shlainte. 

G^ b' e chuir orm an umhail (chuireawih) 

Mi bhi dubhach mu d' dheibhinn, 
Cha d' fhios iad mo ghalar, 
'S cha mho dh' fhairich iad fhein e ; 
Bean gun bhrathair gun athair * 
Gun fhear-tighe gun cheile, 
Gun aon solas f oi 'n chnunne 
Mur duine bheir deirc dhomh. 

Cha 'n 'eil air an t-saoghal 
Do dhaoinibh no dh' aimeis, 
No dh' uachtaran finidh, 
No ohinneach no chairdibh 
Aon ni tha mi 'g acain, 
(G^ b' ait learn nan slaint' iad) 
Aon am fear ud a phbs mi 
Gle og is mi 'm phaisteia. 


Na 'm biodhadh fios ai' inntinn (aiguidh) 

Aig mnaoi ga 'm biodh ceile, 
Air cha chuireadh i dorran 
'N fheadh 's a mhaireadh e fein d'i ; 
* Thuit a h-athair agus a 'da bhrathair an ar-fhaich Raon-ruaruidh. 

172 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Ge d' fhaighinn do dh' oigridh 
6us am posadh da fhear dheug mi 
Cha 'n fhacadh mi 'ohoslas, 
N'a bu docha na 'n ceudfhear. 

Faic, a Righ, mar tha mise 
'S mo ohridhe briste mu d' dheibhum, 
'S mi 'n diaidh mo chliscidh 
O bu trio leom sud fhaodiun ; 
Mi gun dull re sealgbeimie, 

No re oireachdas frithere, (frithe) 

Mi gun solas f oi'n aieir 
'S mi gun aiteas gu cQlinn. (aighir) 

Thainig mudha le series orm 
Thaobh mo nith is mo dhaoine, 
O na dh* fhalbh fear mo thighe 
Gun a mliac-samliiul r'a fhaotain ; 
Mi mar Mhao-Ihubhne bha 'n Eirinn, 
'S e 'n diaidh. Chlanna Baoisge ; 
S marblTa cridhe aig Deardruidli 
'N deis a graidh thoirt do Naoise. 

OcH, &c., GuR MI 'n t-Oisen. 

Fhuair mi crannchur naoh b' fhiu mi 
Del an tus aim an aois m' oige — 
[FoTir stanzas repeated]. 

Altach an t-Snaoiskin — Incerto Auctore. 

Failt ort fein a bhogais 
Do chleite mhaith mar ruit; 
Ihi-baca maith biorach donn 
A chnireag bredm a gearran. 

Air a lomadh air a phronnagh, 
Air a cihuir re teine ; 
Sheachnagh an t-sroin 
'S a niigeadh an t-incheatu 

Poems fiom the Maclagan MSS. 1X3 


Bheireadh an t-anam anns a' chaillich 
A ahaileagh. o cheann sheacihd bliadhna; 
Nach bhedl arc fuail no tiontadh bramA 
No gne ghalair an adhradh duine. 


Nach cuireadh e as a dheoin no dh' ain-daoin 

Sho ort a shrbin, f reagair a th — ^n, 

Maith an t-liobainieach snaoisin, Amen a bhogsa ! 


Banrighin Anna agus Tighearna na h-Appuinn 
Le M*Dhonuill Dbail-aii-eas. 


Cha'n iongna 'n Thigheama th' agtdna (a' tharuinn) 

A dhol gu f arum an tras oim : 

Cho luathe rainig e 'n Sity (C^^) 

Na chuaidh grad fhios air o 'n Bhan-righin ; 

Rug i air edir a lamha, 

Cionnns a tha thu Bhiseadaich? (a bheigh is eadaich) 

Ciomnis tha fear Bhaile<;habliiis, 

'S Alastair gaolach, a bhrathair? 

Cionnus tha fear Airde seaLa, 

'S a chuid edle da na cairdibh ? 

'S maith leam iad uile bhi fallain 

Agus Ailein a Cinneaghearloch : 

Dh' fheadagh Ian beag le dhiusna« (deosach ?) 

Tamul Gleaimdurair f hagail, 

Tha leomsa gu bu mhaith a ghnothach 

Tiughin gam' choimhead '8 mi 'm Bhanrighm. 


Cionnus tha fear Inbhar na h-Aile? 
B' fhaoineachdach e air luchd m' aite 
Aoh chluinn mi ga gu 'n do lean re Doncha 
Beagau do dhomblas a' Bhraidha 

174 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

B' aithne dhomh fein Ian Mac Shemis, 
Bu ro mhaith Bhetirla 's a' Ghaoidhleig ; 
'S maith leain iad gu maith an comhniudh 
Gu ruig s a Notair, a bhrathair. 

Ach leigimid an seanohas so tharuimi 

Gun a bhi farraid nan oairdin, 

Tnnia domh dod tha thu sireadh, 

Gkeabh thu gun philleadh gun spaime ; 

'S leat airgead is or r'a iomairt 

'S leat oeannas-cinneadh nan Gaoidheal: 

Is leomsa sin do thaobh mo bhreatha, (bhreith) 

Gha bhi mi ga chleith air bhar grasail3h. 

TogaidE mi fein cuig ceud deug dhiubh 
Nach bith 'm Breatuinn fein an aicheadh ; 
Bhios dileas dhuibh, 's mis air an toiseach, 
Ged rachadh sibh chogadh re 'm brathair. 
Mar sud 's Loch-ial is Mao DhughaiU 
Ge y oil le Ditic Earraghaoidheal. 
'S cha robh agad riabh fear-cinnidh 
B' urrainn sine gus an trasa. 


Is leam Tuiteir Mhic Leoid na h-Eara 

Fir Shrath tharagaig 's na h-Airde 

'S leam Tuiteir Chlanna Phearsain 

Gach duine th' aige da Phairtidh. 

'N t Alpeineach beag a srath h-Uirdil, (tTardail) 

Sin fear iir a fhuair mi 'n tras duit. 

Tha Morair beag ann am Bealach, 

Na h-earb mar charaid gu brath as ; 

Cha 'n 'eil aig ach beagan daoine, 

'S moran gaoil aig air do bhrathair. 

Tha coimhearsnach aig ann Drumann, 
Sin fear air an d' fhuirich f aihnn ; 
Ged o chimi thu theachd-an-tir ris 
Cha 'n fhaigh thu dhilse no 'chairdeaa ; 

Poems from the IXaclagan MSS. 175 

Cha 'n 'eil m' eolus air Diuc Adhail, 
O oheann ghrathain, cLa mar tha e; 
Chuimaig mise uair nach roibh speis dhiot 
Aige fein no aig a bhrathair. 


Sud mo chomhaxirle dhuit tiiille 

O'n 's aithneadh dhomh uile mar tha iad 

Na h-earb re aon duine th' aca 

Ach. asams' is as mo chuid GaoidheaL. 

Taing dbuibhs' a thigheama na h-Appuinn, 

Sibh mo chairid ceart gii dearbha, 

Lean mo Threasair, airse 'n ceart nair 

S ni e beartach le h-6r dearg thu. 

Ach. an e mac peathar fir Dhail 'n eas 

'N Duin' uasal sin 'na sheasamh laimh riut? 

Thug mis' is bu chnid do m' ghoruich 

M5ran oir do bhrathar a mhathar : 

Na 'm biodh m' eolns orts' air thoiseach 

Cha tigeadh eisin (easan) co dan ort. 

'S ami do m' charaid fein bu choire 

Dhomhsa 'n t-6r a thoirt 'na mhanraibh. 


Na'n tigeadh tu 'n toiseach na triobkid, 
'S mise bhith fiosraoh mo dhaimh riut, 
'S tu chuirinn an aite Mhic Cailein 
Chonnsachadh talamh na Spaine. 
Thoir dhomhsa lom-Fheachd nan Gaoidheal 
Mar is ail leom is dean ar n-aiseag, 
Cha tig mi gu brath da m' dhuthaioh 
Gus an toir mi 'n criin leom dha-thigh. 


Ciod am fios an tugadh tu dhomhs' e, 
Is thu fhein do 'n chrun oo fhagasg? 
Cha dean mi gnothach faoi 's 'n iosal 
Gun chomhairle dhileas Shagsan, 
Aoh o'n thachair dhuit bhi poiste, 
Tog leat do ehuid oir, s theirig dha-thigh. 

176 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Do Chlann Ghriogair 

Le Ailein Mac Ghilleaspuig, Fear Lag-ua h-Adhai do tlieaghlaich 

Is beag mo mhulad 's mo phramJi 
O na chmmas gur slan 
S gur iad comunn mo ghraidh. mu 'm priseil mi. 

Sliochd Eoin ud an aigh 
Na leomhain gun sgath 
Thug iad moran do dh' arm 's do riomhaidh dhomh. 

Siol chonnsmnn nan ceud 

A V nrranta gleus (treiin) 

Ris 'n do dhealugh mi 'a de 's na scriodanaibh. 

B' ann diubh 'n t-Alastair ruagh 
'S Eoin dubh nan lann cruaidh 
Leis 'n do chuireadh an ruaig deich mil orra. 

'S am Fear buighe nach fann 
Do bhuighin nan lann 
Lubadh iubhar na meall, 's neo miur e 

Luchd luireach is lann 
Chuireadh cul re bhi gann 
'S cha bu shugradh ann am eirigh Edbh. 

Sibh nach seachnadh an t-61 
'S nach taisgeadh an t-or 2 

'S cha l>u ghlais air aji t-seorsa 'n fhlnealtachd 

Feadh 'a a bha mi 'n ar cuirt, 
Na'm failbieadh mo ludh, 
Our 8 b' ail leom n'ar 'n nir mo thiolaoadh. 

Poems from the Maclagan MSS. 177 

liuchd a thaghadh nan arm, 
'S na nmai bu ladhaiche dealbh 
'N am dhuibh luighe 's e V ail libh sinte ribh. 

'S moch 's a' mhaduimi air druchd 
Cha bu mbagadh bhar cuis, 
'S 30111 a msLch ris na stuic a dhireadh sibh. 

'S an deis cnagraich bhar n-6rd 
Bhiogh feigh chabrach fo leon, 
Bhiogh na mantuil gun deb gan scriobadli dhiubh ( 

Clann Ghriogair nan lann 
Bhuaileagh creach anns gaoh camp, 
Gut neo-cheachar an dream 's gur rioghail iad. 

Air Samuel Johnson 
Sagsonach 'nuair a scriobh e ann an aghaddh Albainn. 

lie Seiunas Mao-an-t Saoir, Fear a Gbleinne Nodha — 1775. 

Cha 'n eil mi creidsin da rireadh 
Gur lanaoh friomh na beiste, 
'S ann a fkuaradh e re mbathair 
Le coigreach le natur Bhenuis. 

Balaoh gun mhogh lom-lan miosguin, 
Trail tha mi-mhiosail air fhein e ; 
An fkeoil is f earr nar theid i dbolaidh 
Dublaidh a boladh air breunaid. 


Gur tu 'n losgan sleamhuin tarrabhuigb 
'S tu maigean tadrgneadh nan digin ; 
Gur tu deaxc-luaohracb. an fhaeainh 
He ana^: 's re magarau mioltaich. 



178 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S tu bratag screatuigh nam blaran, 
'S tu 'n t-pheilcheag ghranna bhog liaghach ; 
'S tu 'n oairtein nach furasta tharsain 
Uait na tharas tu a t-inghin. 

Gur tu gart-ghlanadh a' gharaidh, 
'S tu soplach is moll na f asgnaig, 
Ann am siol reachdar a chathadh, 
'S tu tom oghar tombaca. 

Gur tu stad feachda o blaraibh, 
Gur tu croman-luch na h-ealtuin; 
'S tu nois mir cagnaidh nam barda, 
Measg nan iasg s tu 'n dallag mhurlaich ; 

No bhiast mbugach sin mac lamhaich, 
'S tu 'n t-isein a meaghan na breine, 
Am broc 's a shroin na cheir tri raighin, 
A mhial-chaorach da 'n ainm an t-aheibn. 

Salach an spreidh tha dhuit partach, 
'S mar bhioghadh nach toigh leam ainm Eisgidh 
Gu'n duraigin fein do scrailleadh. 

Le Gilleasbuig ruagh Mac Dhonchaidh 

an deis a chreachadh tri uairean. 

Mile marbh fhasg ort a shaoghail, 

S mairg bheireadh taoibhsin do d' ghealladh, 

Bheir thu ni do na daoidhin, 

'S fagadh tu na saoighin falamh. 

Air na maithibh is olc t-aithne, 

'S dha 'na daithibh thug tu 'n daighinn ; 

'S o na ohuaidh tu orm air aimh-readh 

Carth' aimh-leis dhiot, a shaoghail. 

Poems from the Mac lag an MSS. 179 


'S binn gach gloir o'n dinne bheirteach, 
'S seorbh a' choir o'n aim-beirteax^h., 
'S dan. o'n aim-beirteach bhi glic, 
'S nul' o'n bheirteach an gabhmuL 

Fear a! ehroidlie 's e gun ni, 

'S fhad a shuighe shios o chach, 

Air meud a mhogh' a bhitheas na chorp 

'S iomad lochd a gheabhar dha. 

'S ionnan sin is mar tha nu 
'S soilleir dhomh fhein mar a tha, 
Gach aon fhear ag suigheadh suas 
'S mi nuas ami coineamh mo mhais. 

Marbhfhasg air an ainnir, 
'S mairg air am faigh i treine 
Thug i ormsa le feamachas 
Beannachadh do Mhac-Ian-leath. 

AiLEiN MoR Mac Dughatll Mhorthair 

Do Bhard Mhic Leoid. 

ThuLsa bhaird chinnich nan dronn, 
Chuir mar innisg orm bhi gann, 
Cia 'n taobh a dh.' imich do chom 
A ghoill chrom fo minig an t-saill? 

Cora a' ghiomaich agus bru lom 

Aig an t-shiocasglach nan gann, (worthless one) 
'S lionmhor, s tu spioladh nan conn (clews) 

Sruth ronn a sileadh le d' dhream. 


'S lionmhor mu bhunaibh do chluas 
Garbh-iongnach 's a spuir ann sas; 
'S deacair a dureadh re hxas 
Fait grisionn is crion a dh' fhas. 

180 GaeliG Society of Inverness. 

'S trio a bha. thu anus a' chuil 
Agiifl ciil do chinn re lar, 
Gach aon fhear a theid a mh — ^n 
Bhiogh sud aim suil a' bhaird. 

Bu mhinig na cx>in ag trod 
Mu leaba fudag-a-dud, 
Agus gu trie mile dod 
Air flod mu thimchioll do ghiiib. 

Thainig Lucifer air chuairt, 
Do Dhunbheagain nan cuach Ian, 
Luidh e le Apa Mhic Leoid, 
Is rinn bard an scomain aird. 

O Ian Mac Neill a Barra. 

Leia a Bheorrtha cuir da aon, (February) 

A leith sa' Mhairt, dha san April, 

Triuir 'sa Mhai do d' mheanmna, 

Cearthar 'sa luin no oo-leanmhuimi, 

dug le luli a's glan grian, 

Se le August ni 'n droch. ciall, 

lar a hK^hd le September, 

Ochd le October, 

Nobbember da cbuig gun cbol, 

December deicb a dhl^liear, 

Aois do reitheach a ta 

An lo d' an mbis 's an Epac. 

O Dhunachai Mac Mhaol-Domhnuich. 

Far mile agus chuig oeud 

Clint sud na naoi-deug, 

Linn na corra-bhliadhna mar sin. 

TJibbir air na bliadhna sin 

Airthear leat an uibhir oir, 

Aon uaar dedg 's ni dal ea-coir, 

Ag deanamh. thriachad dhiubh gu beachd, 

Ayn bi da eis an Epac. 

Poems from the Maclagan MSS. 181 

Slum do mios o mhart a mhain 
An Epac 's an la do 'n mhi 
Os CLonn tri cheud, fui ge b' e 
Aois do reithe dhe do ni. 

[The following poem is without name]. 


'N ainm an Riogh deanmin tiis, 

Air mheinmin tha ma ruin, 

Cha ni 'n aimsir mu'n duin an Cedtein oim. 

'N am faicinn loinghis an Righ, 

Cur a spionnadh gu tir 

Cha 'n e Uilliam tha mi cho deidheil air. 

Ach Riogh Seumus 's a shiol 

A dh' orduigh Dia bhi 'gar dion, 

Cha Riogh eiLe ga 'm fiach dhuinn geileachdain. 

Ach mur d'tig thu air ball 

'S do leindibh-criosa 'gan call, 

'S oeud misde leum thall 'san Eiphit thu. 


'N comunn dotalach tla 
Shuidhe 'n ionad nan Staite, 
Cha chuir Miti na Satan seula ris. 

Oighre dhgheach a chruin, 

Tluiall sibh ahnaidh fur gliin, 

Sgrioa gun aidhir gun chJiii, gun cheti oirbh 

Gach aon la dol sios 

Goimh gach doidh 'nar bian (daidheamh) 

Coin a caith 'n diol air sleibhte dhibh. 

182 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Gort is measgun is cradh, 
Bhi 'gar claxndhe gu bas, 
Air ar slioohd mar bha al nan Eiphiteadi. 

Faoa sligheach. nan ceaJg 
Ga mu dligheach a mheirg, 
Dhubh am. fitheach le salachar ^air sibh. 

Cha 'nam Bradair coir 
A ghlac sibh air thos, 
Eaar-an-tighe nach bu choir bu pheann (?) duibh. (ean) 

Air a' bhniach a stad 
Os oionn dubhar nam bad, 
Bha luchd coir na siubhal gu grad nan reubalaich. 

Ann 'sa bhea(tha) bheag 6g, 
Bha fui bhaile mhic-Sheors', 
Gur ioma fear sroil bha refubaid ann. (iuma) 

Fhuair sibh dionnal 'sa choill 
Le lannaibh shiol Chuinn, 
Chuir ar deanaibh air tninn trom chreuchdach sibh. 

Giudh an t-Alastair dubh 
O Ard gharradh nan snith, 
Chuireadh 'nan siubhal gu tiugh na Reubalaidi. 

Do bhrathair eile Ian 6g 
Dhaonaich peiLefir tridh fheoil, 
'S caol a thearainn thu beb o'n speulaireachd. 

'Nuair a bhruohd t-uaisle a mach, 
Oha Scaobh bhuachailean mhart 
Ach luchd-bhualadh nan cnap gu speuradail. 

Poems from the Mac lag an MSS, 183 

Clann Donuill an aigh 
LuoM a choisFuich gach blair, 
Cha do ghabh iad riamli sgath roimh reubalach. 

Rinnruairidh nam bad 
'S lionmhor uaigh is corp rag, 
Fuil na sluagha(ibh) air stad air feur a miiigh. 

Ach. a Chlebhars nan each 
Bu cheanna feadhna thu air feachd, 
Mu la deurach 's mo chreach mar dh! eirich dhuit. 

'N leoghan fulan(g)ach. garg 
Rinn an teine ort mi-shealbh, 
Bhuail am peiledr fni earbul t-eididh iihu. 

'Nuair thig am Francack a steoch 
Le treom champ a chtiid each, 
Bidh a bhangaid 's a bhreacfe£ist greite dha. 

Tha 'n cogadh so searbh 
Air a thogail gu garg, 
'S mar cheann nathrach bidh earbul peacoc air. 



O gar mise tha fo bhron deth, 

S mi bhi 'n comhniiidh deanamh leathraich, 

Mi fo thiiirs' a Luan 's a/ Dhonach 

Ga bheil togar orm is dabhan; (damhan) 

Ach 's e sud a chlaoidh re m' bheo mi, 

Moighdinn bg an or-fhidlt channaich, 

A dhith nach d' fhuair mi fein re phos' thu, 

Dh' fhag e mi f o bhron Ian carraid. 

IS^ Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Fhir a shiubhlas air an uair uam, 
Bear an soiridh nam. gu Anna, 
Bis na dhealaich mi ann uaigneas 
Air b! chraig ud shuas an ain-fhios. 
Chnir mi 'n oeill dhuit fein ma Bhealtuinn 
Mi bhith 'n gealltainn air do ghabhail : 
Is labhair Anna le beul ciiiin rium 
Nach b' e 'n Sutor a ceud leannan. 

Napra bhuinnig a chroidhe ghaolaich, 

A naora taobh rium fein a chailleag ! 

O oheann tamal tha mi 'n deigh ort ; 

'S i 'n t-slat fh\iieaiid mhaiseach phriseil 

Dh' fhas gu direach 'mar an callan : (gaUan) 

Bu mhor a V iunse learn bhi sint riut, 

No na thog mi chis a 's t-earrach. 

Ge d' nach tailfhear a ni clo mi 

Dheanainn brogan dhuit gun ghainne, 

Ghleighinn dhuit min-chorc is ebm', 

Cais is f ebil 's gach ni ni math dhuit ; . 

Dheanainn fead is cnag is ceol duit, 

Bheirinn pogan do d' bheul cannach, 

Dheanainn mire riut gun do-bheirt 

Is ni eile nach coir a' mhearraig. (labhairt) 

Ub, ub, ub, beir uam do sgeul, 
Cha 'n 'eil reasan air do theangaidh, 
Ge d' nach faighinn fear no chedlidh 
Leat cha rachain fein a mearachd; 
Ga bu leamsa ni 's a dh' fheadail, 
Na tha eidir MaoiUe 's Mor-mhealla, 
B' iunse learn Seamas Debhi 
As a leine no dhol mar riut. 

Poems from the !Xaclagan MSS. 185 

Ma phosas tu Seamas Debhi, 

Ged' tha feadail aig air ghleannaibh ; 

Ma tharlas ort do phiuthair cheile, 

S teann gu'n reoib i dhiot an t-annrad. 

la mis© tha trom briiit© 

As nach dean mo ruin mo ghabhail, 

'S efudar dhomh bhi falbh m' iigaidli, 

A chaoidh cha tog mi siiil a s talamh. 

Ciod aij donas tha cur gruaim ort? 
An ann a gruagach tha do charraid? 
Is a liughad moighdinn bg tha 's diithaich 
Tha gun phosadh, gun aon fharraid, 
Ma tha te ann ni do dhiultadh 
Gu bheil triiiir ann ni do ghabhail : 
Tog do mhisneach is bi siinntach, 
Na gabh ciiram a bhi falamh. 


Ainnir bg an 6r-fhuilt onualaich, 
Dh' fhas gu lubach cuachach caainach, 
Air naile rachain leat an uaigneas 
Do na gleannaibh fuar re geal-shian ; 
Dheanainn do leabaidh 'san luachar 
Is bheirinn pogan uat le furan, 
Dheanainn mire riut gun duasaid 
Ge do bhuaileadh iad mi bhuillin. 

Ga bheil fleasgach ann as tir so 

Ris am bheil mi fein ann ain-iochd, 

Nuair nach d'innis e mar sgeul domh 

Gu 'n robh eisinn re(idh) 's a' chailleag ; 

Ge bu leamsa ni 's do stbras 

'S na dh or ann Eanacalla, (Earracalla) 

Na tha dh' fhearann eidir Cluainidh 

Is Ridhigh na Bruaich ann Gleanna-garata, 

Bu mhor a b' iunsa cuis na gruagaich 

Ann an gleannan fuar re g^-shian. 


186 Gaelio Society of Inverness. 


Ach 's ann ormsa dhoroh an oidhche, 

DK fhaOnicli a chaoidh 's am. feasd mi, 

A dhith 's nach dean, mo leannaa m! fhoighneachd ; 

'S e do ghaol th' air cur as domh ; 

Slan le mnathan og' meorach (mearach) 

Slan le moighdinnin og' is le fleasgaich, 

Slan le cais-iol, slan le trainnseir, 

Slan scloiseir, slan le racstoc. 



* Eoghain mhic Iain, mhic Ailein 

Dhomhsa V aithne beus do bhaile; 

Piob ga spreigeadh, long ga tarruing, 

Bhi 'g 61 fion, a piosaibh glaine. 

O i oirinn, O i o u, O i oirinn, O i o ro, 
O i oirinn, O i o u, Thog u oirinn, O i o ro. 

O gur e mo riiin 's mo roghainn, 
Is buighe chiil 's is ^e 'aghaidh; 
Cha bhuachaiUe bha na ghabhar, 
Ach sealgair feigh thu 'sa choir oghar. 

Ach tha fiar ann san t-sron oghar, 

'S an t-sron chuileann thall mu comhair 

Far am bi meann aig gach gabhair, 

Laoghan aig a ghamhain deolaidh 

Agus nanan aig an oisge, 

Measair chairt mar chuman bleogham. 

Ach tha aguinn an Diineideann 

Ceannard na comhairle 's na ceille, 

Thig e dhathigh 's ni e reite 

'S biaidh fir Bhaideanach nan sleibh dhninn. 

* [Evidently a Lochaber poem. — Ed.] 

Poems from the Maolagan MSS. 187 

'S gabhaidh learn t-aigne, fhir Chluainidh, 
Ged' tlia saibhleon agad 's cniachan, 
Dag a' chinn oir air do chruachaiii, 
Ge amn fein is pailte uaislin. 

Ach, a Mhuire, scrios gu 'm f aic mi 
Air luchd na mogaoa glasa, 
Ged' tha 'n taois air tighinn thaxpa 
Shaoil iad gu 'm iad fein bu tapaidh. 


Sud du bhuaidk nach d' fhuaras aca 
S iia(cli) fhaigh am blia'na na's pailte; 
Nar thig oime na fir gheala 
A Mnidearb 's a Gleannargara, 


Eagaidh iad Clann o! Mhuirich nan cabhaig 
'S cha 'n fhag iad feusag air fear dhiubh. 
Na dh' fhalbh uainne air an titnis, 
Do dheoin Dia gu 'n tig iad uile : 

Cha bhuin gabha riu no cunntart 
Biaidh fml phailt air Cloinn a' Mhuirich. 
Dh' eireadh sud da thaobh Ghleinn-ruaidh leat 
Luchd nan leadan troma dualach, 


Nach biodh scathach re li-am cruadail : 
Cha V e 'n bugradh dhol ga 'm bualadh ! 
La dhomh 'sa choille ghnanaich 
An tigh Iain Oig Mhic lobEair, 


Grudair m' athair is mo mhathar, 
Is mithich dhomh eirigh is paighidh 
Gun mi dh' fhulang focal taire. 
Air son 's buille chul na laimhe. 

188 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Oran le Mnaoi da Leannan. 


Ge do tha mi am thamh 
Cha 'n 'eil mi dhe slan, 
Tha mulad is pramh le ch6ile orm 
Ge do tha, &c. 

Mu'n oganach shuairc 
Dh' fhalbh 'sa mhaduin Dia-luan, 
Righ gur fada leom uam mo oheud ghradh^ 
Mu'n oganach, &c. 


Cae a dhireadh nan cam 

'S a theamadh nan alt, 

Leat a leagtadh damh dearg na oeire. 


Cae a dhireadh nan stuc 
'S a theamadh nan glim, 
Leagadh fuil air an driichd mu 'n eirghinn 


'N am snidhe mu d' bhord 

Gheibhte sud air an 6g, 

Fior roghadh gach neoil ag eirghidh 

Gheibhte ruaidhe a' d' ghniaidh 
Mar an caorann 'g a bhuain, 
No mar ubhal air iiachdar geige. 

Tha do chul mar an t-br, 

Tha do chneas mar shneachd 6g, 

Fhir d' a maith d' an tig cot' is leine. 

Poems from the Mac lag an MSS, 189 


Gabh mo chomhairr a ghraidh 

'S na dean luidhe le traill 

Tagh aa roghainn a's fearr am dheigk-sft 

Tagh an nionag ghlaii 6g 
Ga 'm bi buaile mliaith bho, 
Agua cairdin na leoir da reir sud. 


Ga d' robh biiidhe 'na cul 
Agus geile (gile) 'na guuis, 
Ghaoil, fiosraich. gu dluth a beusan 


Na gabh fath. nirr' gun fhios (oirre) 

An oul garaidh no pria, 

Mu'n dean uirr' an crioean eiridh. 


Oha chreidinn gu brath 

No gu latha mo bhais, 

Gu'n gabhadh tu, ghraidh, droch sgeul arm. 


Le mheud 's a fhuair mi do d' phbig 

Ann an gleannan an fheoir, 

Dh' fhag sud mise re m' bheo f oi eislein. 

Air Sir Dughall Ach-nam-Breac, Marbhiiann. 

'S uaigneach a nochd Cathair Dhughaill, 

Chtuddh dunadh re oeol 'a re h-aighir, 

Am Bnith aith amluidh ghoruigh 

Gun Sailm (Sheirm), gun choisir, gun tathaidi. 

GiuL ohlarsaich dhonn do 'n fhiogh chubhraidh, 

Gun aheanchuidh gun fhilidh leabhair, 

Gun fhear-dan ann sa Bhruih oirdheirc, 

Gun mhnai bhin-gheal, gun leigh oabhair. (cheol) 

190 Gaelic Society of Inverness, • 

A Bhughaill 6ig mhic iDhonchaidh chliuitich, 
'S i do ckuis bu mhor r'a h-iomradh; 
Basraich bhaa fo gharaich. leanabh, 
'S truadh. am bannall ud mu d' thimchioll 

Ach 's bea^ leom sud a dheanamh d' aheanckas 
Sagscmach thu, Francach, Spainneach, 
Lochlannach thu, Breatannach bmneack 
Ann-^fhuil a's mirre ghin o AdhamJi. 

[The last verse is on the same page as the above song, but 
does not likely refer to the same subject. — Ed.] 

Do Dhuin' Uasal do Rodhachaibh. 

'S mi 'g uileag mo leaba 

'N deigh dusgadh a cadal 

'S ann a dh' uinndrain mi caidridh an t-sheoid uam. 

Do dh' fhear foinidh deas direach 
Do dheagh shlainne' nam Biatach, 
Cha bu ohladhaire crion a's tigh-osd thu» 

Cha bu chladhaire gealtach 

Air thiis thagha na f eachd thu, 

Fhuair thu t-fhoglam air ghaisgeachd a's t-6ige. 

Ach a shealgair na lachain, 

A' choillich 's a' ghlas-gheoidh (thorchuill) 

Leat bu mhianach sud agad die (pic) chorachuiQ. 

Slat do bheatha na credhe 

Dhe 'n iuidh fhallain nach leimeadh, 

Chite faileus la greine do dhorlach. 

Beith crainn ur air a slisneadh 

Mu 'n fhiu<ih nach brianeach, 

'S doss na h-iolaire brioe ga sheoladh. 

Ceir dhait o na ghailleabhin 

Chuiregh dreach air na h-armaibh 

Pic chaiteineach dhearg is deagh cholg uirr' 

Poems from the Maclagan MSS. 1^1 

Nar a rachadh tu t-eididh 

Ann am breacan caol gefugach 

Bu tu leannan bhan breid-gheala boigheack. 

Sgeul is ait leis na h-aighin 

Ann an tid na Feill-Ian 

Nach bi thu ga 'n caitheadh air mhointick 

Sgeul is ait le fiagk du-ghlas 
Bkios re skiubkal nan stuo-bheann 
Nack bi tku le d' ckiitk air a lorgsan 

Ack a nois o na sguir thu 

'S gu'n do libkrig tku 'n guna 

Cka dkiriok tku mulack na mor-bkeann 

O na ckaisg iad am fiagk dkiot 

Le arsmackd (ardan) an larla, (oglaok) 

Cka luidk manntal no sliasaid air k-Fkoladk. 

Cara Ckainnick a Bratkain 

Is Mkic Aoidk o Skratkaauir 

'S a Mhic Skimidk o amkan nan crodk tku 

Tka tku Ckarabk Skiol Ailleiu 

'S a tkiagkam og Gkknneagaradk, 

Mac Dko'll-duibk 's a Mkao Cailein 's Mkac Dkomknuill 

Tka tku Ckarabk nam Barrack 
Da 'm bu duckas bki 'm Farrais, 
Ckuireagk tnip nan eack meara gu brdugk. 

Tka tku Ckarabk nan Granntack 

Eidir Spe 's uisge Skamknadk, 

Mkac lU-Eoin nan lann-ckreackamk do 

Tka do dkeud air dkreack cailce 

'S tka do gkruadkan air lasadk, 

Tka fait dubk ort 's cka 'n fkacas ni 's boicke. 

Ack a' ckroidke na feiUe 

Slan tkigkinn deagk sgeul ort, 

Gur tu m' aigkir is m' eadail 's mo storas. 

192 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Rann a rinneadh air Oi'che Bainse. 

Brave lads be merry lefuran ^s le gracilis 
Most willing a taim le mireadh gu lebr ; 
As I am a sinner I cannot bith 'm thcimh, 
While tha 'n cupan am laimh cuir luille san stop. 

Come, call the lass, fill the glass, 

Cuir mun seach cumant e ; 

Here's a health do gach neack. 

Gad! hhiodh sheachd urrad ann, 

To the new couple that's buckled an trasay 

Bragad air bhragad re furan nam nog. 

The wheel of Fortune goes often mun cuairt, 
Cha 'n oil learn san vuir a' mhaliirt a tK ann ; 
I like it, I take it, I make it a suaip^ 
Gach mulad '« gack gruaim a thn chair retim anyi, 

I am glad on my bed, fhuair mi o ad feadalaich^ 
Learn nach meisd, I protest, ged raith treis bheadraV ann 
Aig deadh mhac an duine '« a' chailia gun gkruaim, 
Gu deimhin bu dual gu^n cinneadh bhur clann. 

The Boy called Cupid le bhogha '« le chuibhevy 
Tha mi san duil nach raibh shuiUan-san dail ; 
He charged so briskly and aimed so quickly, 
Gvln chuir e le clisce gu itibh an crann. 

[Anotheir stanza follows, which need not be given. — Ed.] 

24th FEBRUARY, 1898. 

At the meeting this evening Rev. John Fraser, F.C. Manse, 
Dores, was elected an ordinary member of the Society. There- 
after a paper by Rev. C. M. Robertson entitled, ** Topography 
and Traditions of Eigg," was read. The paper was as follows : — 

Topography of Eigg. 193 


The earliest references to the Island of Eigg occur in connection 
with the name of St Donnan, to whom its church was dedicated 
What ia known of this saint has been brought together in a note 
by Dr Reeves in his edition of Adamnan. Donnan of Eigg is 
one of three Irish saints bearing that name. His commemoration 
in the " Feilire " of -^ngus the Culdee, and the accompanying 
commentary, give nearly an that is known of him : 

" With the festival of Peter the Deacon 
To glorious martyrdom ascended. 
With his clerics, of pure Hves, 
Donnan of cold Eig/' 

" Donnan of Eig, i.e., Eig is the name of an island which is in 
Alba, and in it Donnan is [commemorated] ; or, in Catt; * et ibi 
Donnan sanctus cum sua familia obiit, id est LII/ [and there 
•died holy Donnan with his community of fifty-two]. 

" This Donnan went to Columcille to make him his soul's 
friend, upon which Columcille said to him, ' I shall not be soul's 
friend to a company (heirs) of red martyrdom; for thou shalt 
come to red martyrdom, and thy people with thee.' And so it 
was fulfilled. 

" Donnan then went with his people to the Hebrides, and they 
took up their abode there in a place where the sheep of the queen 
of the country were kept. This was told to the queen, 'liet 
them all be killed,' said she. ' That would not be a religious act,' 
said her people. But they were murderously assailed. At this 
time the cleric was at mass. ' Let us have respite till mass is 
ended,' said Donnan. * Thou shalt have it,' said they. And 
when it was over, they were slain every one of them." 

The massacre is . ascribed to pirates or sea-robbers iu the 
Calendar of Marian Gorman, and in a quotation in the Acta 
Sanctorum. The passage in the latter work says that the queen 
induced certain sea-robbers to slay Donnan. Perhaps her own 
people's unwiUingness to commit the act had proved insuperable. 
The latter account further relates that when the robbers came 
they foamd the monks singing psalms in the Oratory, and were 
powerless to hurt them there. But Donnan said to his disciples, 
Let us go to the Refectory where we were wont to live after the 
flesh, and there we can be slain, for we cannot die so long as we 
remain where we were in the habit of pleasing God, but where we 


19^ Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

have been accustomed to novirish the flesh, there we may be loosed 
from the flesh. And so on Easter night in the Refectory or 
dining-hall of the monastery they were slain. 

It is a mistake, however, as Dr Beeves shows, to say that the 
saint met his deatn ^t Easter. The date of his martyrdom was. 
Simday, the 17th of April, in the vear 617. In that year Ea&ter 
fell on the 3rd of April. 

The island was soon re-occupied as a rehgions abode. The 
Annals of Ulster record the death of Oan, superior of Eigg, in the 
year 724. The names and the days of other saints associated 
with the island are recorded in the Irish Calendars, but the years 
are omitted. 

The walls of the now roofless chapel of Kildonan are still 
intact, with the exception of the eastern gable. According to 
tradition, the chapel was burned twice by the Norse rovers. It 
is now the burial-place of the Roman Catholic inhabitants, whose 
remains are carried simwise roimd the outside ere being laid in 
their last resting-place. 

Buried imder ground some 60 or 80 yards north of the chapel 
is a hollow stone, containing human bones, and covered with a 
thin slab of redstone. The hollow stone is popularly beheved to 
have been the burial-place of St Donnan. It has been described 
by Martin and subseauent writers. Professor Macpherson oives 
a full and exact accoimt of it in his " Notes on Antiquities from 
the Island of Eigg " — (Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries 
of Scotland, vol. Xil., p. 577 et seq.). He brings forward 
evidence that this basin, which is made of whitish sandstone, and 
also another which was made of the Scuirr stone, and contained 
many more bones, were dug up some time not long after the year 
1818, and, being removed to the edge of the field, lay ex- 
posed there for many months. " In these circumstances," he 
adds, " it can hardly be considered as certain that the place where 
we now found it was the place of its original deposit." His reason 
for making that remark is, that in digging round the stone they 
foxmd some charcoal, a few small shdls, and sea-rolled pebbles. 
He has, however, overlooked the statement in the Old Statistical 
Account (pubhshed 1796), that the stone having been exposed by 
the plough some years previously, was taken up and examined, 
and then buried at a distance of a few yards from the place where 
it had formerly lain. 

The indications are that the bones are simply such as had been 
turned up, and deposited in this hollow stone as a convenient 
receptacle when graves were being dug. Even at the time of 
Martin's visit no skull was foamd. About fifty years ago the 

Topogtaphy of Eigg. 

coveoring slab was so exposed that it could be raised and the cavity 
underneath exposed to view, but the desecration, it was beheved, 
was always followed by foul weather. 

The islands of " luist and Egyn " (Uist and Eigg) are men- 
tioned in " A Lietter of the King of Norway," among the docu- 
ments foimd in the King's treasury at Edinburgh in 1282. The 
islands of " Egge and Rume " were among the lands erected in 
1292 into the sheriffdom of Skye. In 1309 certain lands, 
including " Egis and Kum," which had been resigned by Christian 
of Marr, the daughter of the deceased Alan, the son of Roderic, 
were granted by King Robert Bruce to Roderic, the son of Alan, 
for service of a ship of twenty-six oars, ^Xrith its complement of 
men and victual. Eigg remained intermittently in the possession 
of the Clanranald family from that time down to the present 
century* Owing to its convenient situation in relation to both 
the island and the mainland possessions of the family, and to its 
advantages of navigation and harbourage, the island was often 
used as a rallying place for the clan, both for peaceful and for 
^ warlike purposes. It was here that Ranald, the eldest son of 
John of the Isles, handed over the chiefship to Donald, the eldest 
son of his father by his second wife, Margaret Stuart, daughter of 
Robert II. The Red Book of Clanranald gives this account of 
the ceremony observed : " Do bhi Raghnall mac Eoin na. ard 
stiubhord ar Innsibhgall an aimsir bas athair do beith na aois 
arsuigh agus ag riaghladh os a cionn do ar neg do athair do chur 
tionol ar uaislibh Innsibhgall agus ar bhraithribh go haoinionadh 
agus tug se slat an tigheamais do bhrathair a odl Donnin an Eige 
agus do goireadh mac Domhnuil de agus a Hile an aghuidh 
baramhla fhear Innsigall " : — " Ranald, the son of John, was the 
high steward of InnsigaU (i.e., the Isles) at the time of his father's 
death. He being in his old age and ruling over them when his 
father died, called a meeting of the gentlemen of the Isles and of 
his brothers to one place, and gave the wand of lordship to his 
brother at Kildonan in Eigg, and he was proclaimed MacDonald, 
and of Islay, contrary to the opinion of the men of the Isles." A 
translation of the passage is given by Sir Walter Scott in the notes 
to the " Lord of the Isles." 

Of a different character was the meeting of Sir James Mac- 
donald, after his escape from Edinburgh Castle, with Coll Mac 
Gillespick before their invasian of Islay and Cantyre in 1615. 
This is Gregory's account: — " At the Isle of Eigg he met with 
Coll Mac Gillespick and such of the Clandonald as followed that 
pirate leader. The reception given to Sir James by his clansman 
was very enthusiastic. He and those who had come with him 

196 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

stood in a place by themselves, whilst Coll Mac Gillespick's men 
marched roimd them firing volleys of small arms for half an hour ; 
aad afterwards every individual came forward and shook hands 
with the chief. From Eigg, being now about three himdred 
strong, Sir James and his followers sailed in the direction of Islay, 
having previously slaughtered a great number of cattle in the 
former island to insure themselves a good supply of provisions/' 

At the present day Eigg is best known, perhaps, in connection 
with the smothering of its inhabitants in Uamh Fhraing by the 
hostile Madeods. The name Uamh Fhraing is usually rendered 
as in the Old Statistical Account, the Cave of Francis. Phoneti- 
cally that rendering is quite satisfactory, though it is not the only 
one possible. The second term, of the name is pronomiced in 
Gaelic exactly like the latter part of the famous name Quirang, in 
Skye, and, so far as sound goes, it may very well be the genitive 
of ' reang,' a form of * rong,' which means a boat-rib, etc. This 
would in effect make Uamh Fhraing, or in this case Uamh Kedng, 
mean the " Eibbed Cava" 

The story of the cave has often been told. The pre- 
cursor of the many versions current was that given in the Old 
Statistical Account, and to it we may confine ourselves here. " At 
no great distance," it proceeds, " east of this cave [Uamh a 
Chrabhaidh] is Uamha Fhrainc ^the Cave of Francis), remarkable 
not only for its form, but also for the murder of the inhabitants 
of this island by Alistair Crotach, Laird of M'Leod. The entrance 
of this cave is so small that a person must creep on four for about 
12 feet; it then becomes pretty capacious, its length being 213 
feet, breadth 22, and height 17. With regard to the murder 
above mentioned, it is said that some of M'Leod's vassals, return- 
ing from Glasgow, touched at the harbour of Eigg. Some Eigg 
women were then tending cattle in EiQean Chastell, the small 
island which forms this harbour. The strangers visited and mal- 
treated the women. Their friends having got information, pur- 
sued and destroyed those strangers. This treatment of his 
vassals MTieod considered as an insult, and came in force to 
revenge their death. The inhabitants, apprised of their danger, 
flocked to this cave for concealment, excepting 3 who took other 
places of refuge, and a boat's crew then in Glasgow. MTieod 
after landing having found no inhabitants, believed they had fled 
to the mainland, and resolved to return immediately to Sky. The 
people in the cave, impatient of their confinement, sent a scout to 
reconnoitre, who imprudently shewed himself upon an eminence, 
when he was readiif observed by the enemy then actually under 
sail for Sky. Uidort«iiately for the inhabitants, there was new 

Topography of Eigg. 117 

laid snow upon the ground. M'Leod re-landed and traced the 
scout to the cave's mouth. He offered upon delivering up to him 
the murderers of his people to spare the other inliabitants. The 
terms were rejected, upon which M'Leod smoked them all to 
death. In the canfined air of this cave the bones are still pretty 
fresh, and some of the skulls entire, and the teeth in their sockets. 
About 40 skulls have been lately numbered. It is probable a 
greater number was destroyed ; if so their neighbouring friends 
may have carried them off for burial in consecrated groimd." 

On that narrative it may be remarked, firstly, that any state- 
ment of what Macleod said to the people in the cave must have 
emanated from the Madeods themselves; secondly, that those 
within the cave would not be likely to betray their presence nor 
to confirm the discovery of their retreat by replying to any pro- 
posal that Macleod would make ; and, lastly, that there is nothing 
to show that Macleod could be aware of the large number con- 
cealed in a cave whose mouth was so narrow. He may not have 
supposed that there was anyone within except the scout whose 
footsteps he had traced to the opening. 

Professor Macpherson, in his discussion of the story, is stag- 
gered by the absence of reference to the event in the judicial 
records, and by the fact, to which he has drawn attention, that 
the inhabitants of Eigg suffered total destruction about the same 
time by the hands of MacLean of Duart. When overrun by Mac- 
Lean, Eigg and the neighbouring isles appear to have been in the 
King's hands. MacLean was indicted by the Lord-Advocat/e for 
the offence. The record of the trial, at which the accused did not 
appear to answer to the charge, is printed imder date 3rd Jan., 
1588-89, in the Kegister of the Privy Council, vol IV., pp. 341, 
342, and states that in October last Lachlan MacLean of Duart, 
" accompanied with a great number of thieves, broken men, and 
somers of Clans, besides the number of one himdred Spaniards 
[from the ' Florida '], came, bodin in feir of war, to his Majesty's 
proper isles of Canna, Bum, Eigg and the Isle of Elennole (sic), 
and, after they had somed wrecked and spoiled the said whole 
Isles, they treasonably raised fire and in most barbarous shameful 
and cruel manner, burnt the same Isles with the whole men women 
and children being thereinto, not sparing the pupils and infants, 
and at that same time passed to the Castle of Ardnamurchan, 
besieged the same, etc. . . . The like barbarous and shame- 
ful cruelty has seldom been heard of among Christians in any 
kingdom or age, the said Lachlan being moved hereunto in respect 
the inhabitants of the said Isles were his Majesty's proper tenants 

198 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

destitute of the comfort and assistance of the clannit men of the 
Isles to participate with them in their own defence." 

With regard to the smothering of the inhabitants in Uamh 
Fhraing by the MacLeods, Macpherson says : — " It would be rash 
at once to reject the generally accepted tradition ; but it is diffi- 
cult to reconcile it with the real evidence as to MacLean of Duart 
and his Spaniards. It is not easy to believe that twice within a 
few years the whole population should have been destroyed by 
fire." Notwithstanding the seeming improbability, the two 
references found by Macpherson in the Sibbald MSS. in the 
Advocates' Library would alone seem sufficient to establish the 
substantial accuracy of the tradition. The oldest reference he 
found in those MSS. attributes the massacre to " M'Leod of 
Haris,"' the inhabitants " being in war against him for that tyme." 
The second reference is in the account of the Hebrides, preserved 
in Sibbald's own handwriting. Here Macleod is not mentioned, 
but the date is given and the number of victims is stat€^d. 
" There are many caves under the earth in the isle which the 
country people retire to with their goods when invaded, which 
proved fatal to them in the year 1577, where 395 persons, men, 
wives and bairns, were smored with putting fire to the caves." 

Another early reference to the event is to b© found in the 
*' Description of the Isles of Scotland," printed by Skene at the 
end of his " Celtic Scotland." Of this document Skene says : — 
" This description must have been written between 1577 and 1595, 
as the former date is mentioned in connection with the cruel 
slaughter of the inhabitants of Egg by the Macleods, and John 
Stewart of Appin, who died in 1595, is mentioned as alive at the 
time it was written." It will be observed that the description 
quoted above must have been based upon or condensed from that 
printed by Skene. The passage is as follows : — " Thair is mony 
coves under the earth in this. lie quhilk the cuntrie folks uses as 
strenthis hiding thame and thair geir thairintill ; quhairthrow it 
bapenit that in March, anno 1577, weiris and inmitie betwix the 
said Clan Kenald and Mc Cloyd Herreik, the people with ane 
callit Angus oohn Mac Mudzartsone, their capitane, fled to ane 
of the saidis coves, taking with them thair wives baimis and geir, 
quhairof Mc Cloyd Herreik being advertisit landit with ane great 
armie in the said He, and came to the cove and pat fire thairto, 
and smorit the haiU people thairin to the number of 395 persones, 
men, wyfe, and baimis." 

In ascribing the crime to Alastair Crotach, who is said to have 
received the injury which procured him the epithet * crotach ' 
during an incursion into Eigg, tradition is obviously at fault, for 

Topography of Eigg. 199 

lie had ceased to make his presence felt in those Western Isles 
more than twenty years before this time. In the main, however, 
the tradition agrees with the old accoimts ; and for once tradition 
is vindicated against the critics. 

At the census of 1891 the population of the island was 233. 

There are no skulls now ha. the cave; even the floor 
has been dug for bones to carry away as mementos, 
and a like fate has befallen some bones of enormous size that 
used to lie in the window of Kildonan Chapel. One old woman 
is said to have escaped by hiding herself somewhere about the 
Scuirr, More definite is the tradition concerning the old woman 
who refused to accompany the others, and hid herself in a cave 
in the Aoineadh Mbr, near the north-western point of the 
island. She was discovered in her retreat, and told that though 
they would not stain their hands with her blood, they would 
leave nothing on the island for her to eat, and she would die of 
starvation. The old body, who was evidently not so terrified as 
she ought to be in the circimistances, rephed : " Ma gheibh mise 
maorach an t-Sluic, duileasg an Luig, agus a' bhiolaire bhog agus 
deoch a tobair mhor Tholain foghnaidh dhomh " — If I get the 
sheU-fish of Sloe, the dulse of Lag, and the tender water-cresses, 
and a drink from the great well of Tolaia, I shall not want. 

The phrase " cold Eig/' in the " Feilire " of uEngus, associates 
itself with the word ' fons,' fountain, by which the name Eigg is 
glossed in two copies of the " Feilire," and also wiiJi the opening 
words of the quotation in the " Acta Sanctorum " already men- 
tioned, viz. : " Ega nomen fontis in Aldafain Cattaibh " — " Eigg 
is the name of a fountain in Aldaf a in ( ?) Caithness." * Foimtain ' 
is a possible meaning of the name, though not now known in the 
Gaelic language. 

The popular explanation which makes the name of the Island 
of Eigg, Adamnan's Egea, Gaelic Eilean Eige, to mean Island of 
the Notch, from Gaelic * eag,' a notch, genitive ' eige' may be 
correct. It was put forth over a hundred years ago by the 
Rev. Donald Maclean, of Small Isles, in the Old Statistical 
Account, and is identical with the explanation given by our 
latest and highest authority. There has not been like unanimity 
as to the reason for calling the island by that name. Some 
assert that the notch is the indentation which forms Laig Bay 
on the west side of the island, while others maintain that it is 
the deep depression which separates the Scuirr hills from the 
almost equally lofty northern plateau. A better solution of the 
problem is to be found in the view of the eastern " profile," so to 
speak, of the island as seen from on board steamer in the Sound 


300 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

of Sleat. The great indentation formed by the perpendicular 
face of the Scnirr in the sky-Hne as seen from that point of view 
is so striking as to produce the conviction inevitably that that is 
the notch, if such be the meaning, from which the island has 
derived its name. 

The Bev. Donald Maclean has recorded other names by which 
Die Small Islos were known : Eigg was Eillan nam Banmore, the 
island of the great women ; Rum, Rioghachd na Forraiste Fiadh- 
aich, the kingdom of the wild forest; Canna, An t-Eilean 
Tarsuinn, the island lying across; Muck, Tir Chrainne, the 
Sow's Island. " But these," he adds, " may be supposed poeti- 
cal names given by the Gaelic bards, and the superstitious are 
said to have used them and them only when at sea and boimd 
for these islands." Begardrng Canna, Martin says : " The natives 
caU this isle by the name Tarsin at sea " ; and regarding Eigg : 
" The natives dare not call this Isle by its ordinary name of Egg 
when they are at sea, but Island Nim-Banmore, i.e., the isle of 
the big women." The appropriateness of " An t-Eilean 
Tarsuinn " to Canna, in GaeHc " Eilean Chanfhathaich," is 
readily seen, while the adaptabihty of Rirni to a deer 
forest is stiQ recognised. Rioghachd seems a large 
word ; perhaps Rum was a royal forest. " Tir Chraine " 
is practically synonymous with Eilean nan Muc. The 
name M'Crain, borne in Jura by a family famed for longevity, 
one member having kept as many as one himdred and eighty 
Christmases in his own house, is derived from 'crain' (cf. 
M'Culloch). Muck is asserted to liave been originally called 
Eilean nam Manach, Isle of the Monks, which name has every 
appearance of being a popularised version of a more pohte and 
ingenious interpretation than " Isle of the Swine." Mugstad 
is weU known to mean Monkstead, or Monks' dwelling, and 
nothing could be more natural to some etymologists than to 
suppose, out of poHteness, that Eilean nam Muc might similarly 
mean Isle of the Monks, which becomes in modem Gaelic Eilean 
nam Manach. 

There is a burying-ground with remains of ecclesiastical 
buildings on the island, but the name of the saint to whom they 
were d«iicated has been forgotten. The place is called simply 
"A Chill." Probably Kilfinan was the full name, as there is 
Dail Chill Fionain beside the burying-ground. The build- 
ings may not have been founded, as has been alleged, by 
St Columba, but tradition has it that he visited the island, and 
was so pleased with the alacrity with which the inhabitants 
responded to his desire to be ferried to the next stage ia his 

Topography of Eigg. 201 

journey that he pronounced upon them, a benediction, in virtue 
of which neither they nor their descendants to all generations 
should ever perish by drowning. The prediction, it is main- 
tained, has been fulfilled hitherto, and without much contributory 
caution on the part of those concerned. It may be questioned 
if there are anywhere else on the West Coast such daring and 
successful small-boat sailors as are found in Muck. The same 
tradition goes on to say that the refusal of the inhabitants of 
Tiree to perform a similar service for the saint has rendered 
them, as he predicted, peculiarly liable to this day to death by 

To return to Eigg, the alternative name — Eilean nam Ban 
mora — associates itself with the tradition that St Donnan was 
put to death in the island by an Amazon Queen who reigned 
there, and also with the small looh nearest to the Scuirr, called 
Loch nam Ban Mora (not Loch na Mna Moire, as in the maps), 
The Loch contains an island with remains of mason work, and an 
under-water footway, which seems to be really a ridge of rock. 
The proximity of that building to the top of the Scuirr suggests 
that the erection of the former and the fortifications of the latter 
were the work of the same hands. No more seems to be known 
about the " Big Women," except that they are said to have been 
Scandinavians — Lochlannaich. 

The intention of the use of those alternative names by the 
superstitious when at sea and bound for those islands was pro- 
bably to conceal the destination from witches and other maHgn 
powers, which, with the illogic of superstition, were supposed to 
know the islands only by their true name. 

St Columba's name is commemorated in a spring of excellent 
water in Cleadale, called xobar Chalum Chille; St Colimiba's 
Well, from which the saint is said to have drunk. There are no 
adders in the island, nor, according to local belief, in any island 
upon which the saint set foot. Even though taken to Eigg, they 
will not live there twenty-four hours. 

A burial mound, or what is behoved to be such, lies a short 
distance to the east of St Donnan's reputed grave, and another, 
which was opened several years agfo, and some weapons found, lies 
in front of Kildonan farmhouse. There are two comparatively 
modem graves, marked each by a huge limb of rough stone, the one 
below the road on the south of the Scuirr, the other about 
thirty yards east of the road in the moor north of the Parish 

Uamh a Chrabhaidh, described in the Statistical Account, 
with its altar as used by Roman Catholics, lies to the west of 


202 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Uamh Fhraing. A stone erection, said to have been an altar, 
is found in Straidh, or, more correctly, Strothu, a little to the 
south of a cairn that stands there. In Cleadale there is a 
Leaba' Chrabhaidh, so named because monks were wont to 
worship there. The road to the shore passes through it. The 
site, too, is easily discoverable of the cross, which has given name 
to Druim-a'-Chroisein in Cleadale. 

There are other caves which have a tradition. One called 
Uamh-Chloinn-Biridh, near the north end of the island, gave 
shelter more than once to fugitives from a distance. One fugi- 
tive from the Macleod country lived there for some time 
unknown to any one on the island. The first to discover him 
was a farmer's daughter, who was at the sheiling at Talm, n 
the neighbourhood of his retreat, but she was persuaded by him 
to conceal the discovery even from her father. So much cause 
had the wanderer to fear discovery by the inhabitants of Eigg, 
who were the natural enemies of every Macleod. From that 
day the wanderer's solitude was relieved by occasional meetings 
with the maiden, and his hardship alleviated by a share of the 
produce of the dairy. That an attachment should spring up 
between them was natural, but scarcely did they become con- 
scious of it until Tuathanach nan Cuig Peighinn, as her father 
was styled, seeing the strange name on some clothes in a washing, 
and questioning his daughter, discovered the secret, and 
threatened to shoot the man. Such was the effect of the threat 
upon her, however, that, instead of shooting him, the farmer 
brought him home and gave him his protection. The end of it 
was that the yoimg couple were married, and their descendants 
are to the fore at the present day. 

Another fugitive, who was ancestor of some families still 
living in the island, and of a man known as Am Piobair Mor, 
found refuge in the same cave, and hved by hunting. He had 
fled from, Bimi when the inhabitants of that island were con- 
verted to Creidimh a' Bhata Bhuidhe by the proprietor, Maclean 
of ColL He left the cave in course of time, and took up his 
abode in Kildonan, near the spot where the present shepherd's 
house stands. The site of his stackyard can still be seen, and is 
named after him, " lodhlann an t-SeaJgaire." The last day he 
went to hxmt in Straidh he failed to come home. Search 
being made, his body was found with an otter and a badger — 
biast dubh agus dobhar-chu — the produce of the day's toil, at a 
well, since called Tobar nan Ceann, at which he had stopped to 

Topography of Eigg. 203 

Yet one other cave requires particular mention. It lies at 
the northern extremity of the island, and is one of a range of 
six caves within flood mark at the base of Sgor Sgaillinn, or, as 
some say, Sgor Sgailleadh, called in maps Sgurr Sgaileach. 
Sgaileach would certainly be a most appropriate term, as the 
rock casts a deep shadow except during an hoiu* or two after 
sunrise in mid-summer. As r^ards Sgurr in that and some 
other local names as they appear in maps, the inhabitants state 
that there is only one Sguirr in Eigg, all the others so called 
being Sgor, usually pronounced Sgor, owing to shifting of ths 
accent. That particular cave contains a stone with a broad flat 
top that might have been specially designed to serve for a table. 
The tradition is that it was so used by Mac Mhic Ailein, who 
was concealed after the '45 with one attendant, named John 
M'Lellan, otherwise Iain Mac Chaluim, in the cave, hence called 
Uamh Mhic 'ic Ailein. The Chief had only a stone for a 
pillow, and, tiring of it, -he .requested his companion to procure 
him a turf instead. John would no doubt provide that luxury, 
but his first response was : " Is e an ailgheas a dh' fhoghainn 
dhuit ! Nach foghainn a chlach do do cheann is gu 'm faod e bhi 
dhiot mu 'n tig a mhadainn " — " How fond you are of ease ! 
Will the stone not suffice the head that you may lose before 

In the hill above Kildonan there are several chasms of un 
known depth, one of which is called Sloe a Ghliongain, from the 
sound made when a stone is dropped into it. Cattle have been 
lost in them, and there is a legend of a horse that fell into one of 
them and returned to the light of day in Skye, according to one 
account, but according to another account in Ardnamurchan, if 
it were not two horses. 

Uncanny beings have lent their names to several places. 
Cnoc Oillteig, in Cleadale, is said to be named after a hag who 
haunted the spot. Not far off, and near St Columba's Well, is 
Tobar Lon nan Gruagach, so named after the gruagach or 
maiden which frequented fresh-water streams. Loch Nighean 
Dhughaill, in the Scuirr Hills, received its name from a maiden 
who perished there. She was herding in the hill one day, and 
saw a handsome youth — fleasgach briagh — who came and joined 
her. After some conversation, he laid his head on her lap, and 
having asked if she would clean his hair — am faisg thu mo 
cheann dhomh — he went to sleep. While turning over his hair, 
she noticed some leaves of fresh-water plants, and perceived that 
her companion was the dreaded water-horse. Keeping her 
presence of mind, however, she contrived, without rousing him. 

*-^04 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

to get his head off her lap, and having cut out of her dress with 
her scissors the piece which was grasped in his hand, she fled 
with her utmost speed and reached home safely, but not before 
she heard an angry voice behind her declare that he would have 
her yet. Not long after, the whole population of Griilain, as 
the township which then existed on the south side of the Scuirr 
was called, were spending the Sunday afternoon, according to 
custom, chattLQg together on the top of a hillock, when the water- 
horse suddenly appeared in their midst, and, seizing Nighean 
BhughaiU, carried her off before their eyes. The men, with a 
cry of rage, hastily seized some weapons and started in pursuit. 
They searched for her everywhere, but never saw her again. 
A bit of her dress and her lungs — sgamhan — which were seen 
floating on the surface, made it only too plain that she had met 
a dreadful end in what has since been called Loch Nighean 

An ominous and mysterious bird ^hich haimts the island is 
known by the name of Eun Ban nan Corp — ^the White Bird of 
the Corpses. It is only seen in the evening flying near the 
ground, and occasionally, it is said, resting on houses, and its- 
appearance is regarded as an omen of dea^. It was seen flut- 
tering, about twentv years ago, near the ground of Cachailiath 
nam Marbh — ^the gate of the dead — so named because funeral 
parties rest there — ^by a lad who was sent in the middle 
of the night to Cleadale for a woman to dress the body 
of a person who had died in GruHn. More recently it was seen 
flying around and even striking against a woman, who immedi- 
ately after met with a violent death. The bird is described as 
being about the size of a seagull, and is identified, no doubt 
correctly, as the white or grey owl. 

Another omen of like significance is known as " An Wic," 
the " Weeck," an onoma.topoetic name. " Weeok " is believed 
to be the call of some unknown bird, and is heard sometimes as 
if coming from the air above, sometimes as if springing from the 
ground at the very feet of the listener. Never by any chance 
has anyone caught sight of the bird. The phenomenon has 
occurred but once within living memory. It continued to startle 
solitary pedestrians for a few weeks, and was then followed by 
the deaiji of a clergyman who officiated in the island. An old 
man living at that time recollected, however, a former occurrence 
of the phenomenon, which had been followed by the death of 
several of the inhabitants. The little pass through which the 
road begins to descend towards Cleadale is called Bealach Clithe, 
explain^ to mean Bealach Cleithe, from A Chleith-mhor, as the 

Topography of Eigg. 205 

ground at the top is named. Cleith probably means a smooth 
slope, cf. cliath and cliathach, and not level ground, though part 
of the ground is very nearly leveL There can be no connection 
with the name Cleadale, which means cliff-dale, Norse kleif-dalr, 
from the Cyclopean wall of rock, close upon 1000 feet in height, 
with which the place is half encircled. The fact that there is 
another Bealach Clithe on the east side of the island and in line 
with the former suggests that the name belonged originally to 
the whole of the " bealach " or depression already referred to as 
parting the northern and the southern heights of the island. 
The steep pass on the west side has the reputation of being 
haimted, and the lonely wayfarer at night ina«kes all haste to 
get beyond the dangerous spot. There are veracious accounts 
of at least one night adventure at the dread spot. A Laig 
farmer, famed for his strength, had been at the side of the island 
upon which the inn stood, and on his return home declared that 
he had encountered the hobgoblin in Bealach Clithe. When 
coming down the pass below the curve of the road, and almost 
past the dangerous^ound, he came upon a creature of prodigi- 
ous size and extraordinary shape. Having the true athlete's 
delight in a robust antagonist, or — 

" A foeman worthy of his steel " 

— he tried to get a wrestling grip, but he might as well try to 
embrace a hogshead. He next tried to push it from him, and, 
having the advantage of the lull, he managed to force it off the 
road and to tumble it into the bum far below. There it lay still, 
and he made his way home without further molestation. The farmer 
was so positive in his assertions, and the story was so circum- 
stantial, that a member of the household, in his round of the 
farm next morning, made an inspection of the scenes He could 
find no trace of anything imusual about the road, but, on looking 
over the bank, he discovered their bull lying dead in the bed of 
the bum. 

The next place to the above in the direction of Cleadale is 
Cuagach, the " curved " place. The road crosses two small 
streams, and the place where the first or nearest to Bealach 
Clithe is crossed is called Cachaileath Cadh-Luideag — Gate or 
hurdle of the rags' gateway. A green spot above the road on 
the bank of that little stream was a favourite haunt of a little 
lady who hved long ago in some place that nobody knows. She 
wore a green dress, and was always seen by the side of a bum. 
She was called A^ Bhean Nighidh — the washer-woman — because 
she was always washing clothes as hard as her two little elbows 

206 Gaelic Societq of Inverness. 

would go. Nobody seems to know whether she was one of the 
faries or not, or why she was always washing, or washing at all. 

Another story, however, does concern the Httle folks, un- 
happily, for it is not altogether to their credit. Beyond Cleadale, 
on Tolin farm, and immediately below Bealach Thuilm, there is 
an enclosed field, not now cultivated, called Cuidh-ChapuU — ^the 
horses' park, cuidh meaning locally an enclosed field. A rock 
beside tiie field is called Creag Cu-Ohapull. One day when the 
farmer s people were at the harvest there, one of the 
women put a child she had to sleep, and laid it down in a warm 
comer at the side of the field. Bv and by she heard it crying, 
and would have gone to it, but the farmer bade her not go near 
it imtil he should give her leave. He knew the child that was 
crying was a changeling left by the fairies, and that if it was 
allowed to cry long enough those who had left it would take pity 
upon it and come back for it, and would leave the child they had 
taken away. It happened just as he thought. When the mother 
was told that she might now go, she went and foim^d her own 
child indeed, but the fairies, in their resentment at having to 
return, had thrown it to the groimd and broken its back. 

Of Sitheans or Fairy Kjiolls there are several. One is in 
Cleadale, and in Laig there are two on the ridge bordering the 
beach. The latter are named An Sithean Mbr and Sithean na 
Cailleich — the Great Sithean and the Hag's Sithean. In the 
latter stone implements are said to have been found, the only 
kind specified being Ceapa-Sithein, a kidney-shaped stone about 
nine or ten inches in length (a stone Celt ?). Professor Macpher- 
son describes two stone cists found in this knoll. 

There are several ancient forts. One in Muck possessed an 
iron gate within Hving memory. The fortification of the top 
of the Scuirr has been referred to. All that was necessary was 
to erect across the access to the top a few yards of strong 
masonry, and a part of this is stiU standing. Other two forts, 
called Na Diiin, are found close together west of Laig. Portions 
of the mason work bv which the weak points in the natural defences 
of the situation of one of these were strengthened still remain. 
The need of such fortresses must have been great in former times, 
especially in the smaller islands. A limited population like that 
of Eigg, which mustered, as an old writer tells, only sixty men 
for the wars, was practically at the mercy of every marauding 
horde from the lai-ger islands round about, as well as from 
the mainland. The incursion which resulted in the atrocity of 
Uaimh Fhraing is one instanoeu The recollection of that terrible 
visitation has more or lees absorbed or effaced the recollections 

Topography of Eiog. 20T 

of others. An incident will be associated with that 
incursion by one narrator which is affirmed by another to have 
occurred during some other invasion. Thus the traditional 
ploughing of Laig beach, by which one of the richest beaches in 
shell-fish in the Hebrides was rendered utterly barren, is some- 
times connected with that tragedy, and sometimes said to have 
been done during some other incursion. The deliberate and 
determined malice of the act, if it was really performed, taken in 
connection with the interview with the old woman, may well 
have belonged to those who could seek such vengeance as was 
consummated in the cave. 

As has been indicated already, the island was not 
overlooked by the Norse marauders. They have left 
some place-names, some archaeological remains, and possibly the 
boat timbers also which were found in the course of draining 
operations on Laig farm. There is reason to beHeve that 
the part of the farm in which these were found formed at one 
time a land-locked bay. It is a basin divided from Laig Bay 
by the low ridge with the fairy knoUs mentioned above, and was 
imtil drained of a more or less marshy character. On the 
inland side of it, and about one-third of a mile from the sea, is 
a dark rock, called Stron Laimhrig — ^headland of the landing- 
place. The inference is that there must have been a landing- 
place near the foot of the rock, and consequently that the sea 
must have occupied that now inland basin so as to touch such 
landing-place. A change in the level of the land of 25 feet or 
30 feet would fully satisfy the conditions; and that there has 
been a change of level in the island can be abimdantly proved. 
West of Laig farm-house is a channel traditionally stated to 
have been a canal, which is perhaps 12 feet above present flood 
mark. However that may be, there is at the same place a series 
of raised beaches, the lowest of which is now several feet above 
high-water mark. There is a similar series of raised beaches also 
at Talm, at the northemjand of the island. Indeed, the indica- 
tions are that the groxmd is still rising. The raised beaches of 
geology may not be so old as is often supposed. Tradition 
records, and t ere is even living witness, to change of level in 
other localities. At the south end of Arran, for instance, per- 
sons who are by no means old report tHat the sea does not come 
in so far on the land now as it used to do. The Norse and other 
archaeological remains are described, and some of them figured, 
in Professor Macpherson's paper already mentioned. 

In the larger Ordnance Survey map of Eigg there are about 
125 names of places, of which about one-fifth are of Norse origin. 


208 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Four of them contain the Norse word ' dair/ a dale, viz., 
Cleadale, Glen Charadale, Galmisdale, aiid Cnoc Smeordail. 
Cleadale, written Clay tall in 1498, has been explained above. 
Caradale means copse-dale, from Norse ' kjarr," copsew^ood or 
brushwood. Galmisdale, written Galmastal in 1498, suggests 
the Norse ' galm ' or ' galmr,' found only in local names, e.g., 
Galmar-strond, probably so called from the roaring of the surf ; 
a comparison with the Anglo-Saxon ' gealm,' din, ha® been sug- 
gested. Smeordail, which means ' butter-dale,' from * smjor,' 
butter, must have got its name because good pasture was found 
there. The name of another dale which does not appear on the 
maps is retained in Clach iioasdail, the name of a large stone in 
Grulin. Hoasdail probably means ' cairn-dale,' from ' haugr,' a 
burial mound or cairn, cf. Icelandic Haugmes. The name Hoe, 
which is found several times in Skye, has been derived from 
* haugr,' and there is a ' haugr ' or cairn in the neighbourhood 
of Clach Hoasdail. Nearly all the names of townships are Norse. 
The first part of Sandavoure is the Norse ' sandr,' sand. There 
used to be two Sandas, Big Sanda and Little Sanda, or Sanda- 
mhor and Sanda-bheag. A document written in 1498 mentions 
the five pennylands of Sandamore and the four pennylands of 
Sandabegw "Kie latter appears in the larger Survey map in the 
name *Sandaveag bum,' situated to the north of Sandavoure. 
Laig, pronoimced La'aig, probably means surf -bay (Norse * la- 
vik '), notwithstanding that it was written Layng in 1498. It 
is a pecuKarity of the bay that waves break on the beach both 
with and without every wind except a breeze of not le§s than two 
days' duration from the northeast. The word * vik ' occurs also 
in the names Sgaothaig and Sgiotaig, in the maps Sgeir Sgaoth- 
aig and Camas Sgiotaig. The former, explained by * skagi,' a 
low cape, or ness, means * low cape-bay.' There is also an Eilean 
Sgaothaig off Muck. Sgiotaig appears in Skye in the name 
Bomaskitaig, and is explained as * di\ision-bay,' from ' skipti,' 
division. Holin, also called Tolin, may be compared with the 
Shetland name Hoolrn, which means ' at or under the hOl ' ; 
Norse '-holl,' a hill, a knoll, though the old form, Houland 
(1498), suggests rather 'holl-land,' meaning hill-land. Toaluinn, 
in Muck, is probably the same. Talm, with Eilean Thuilm and 
Bealach Thuilm, is the Norse 'holmr, a hohn, a small island, 
which appears also in Duntulm, in Skye. Halasgair or Thal- 
asgair of Diman Thalasgair is also Norse, and is to be explained 
by * hallr,' a big stone, a boulder, and ' skor,' a rift in a rock or 
precipice ; Gaelic sgor, English scaur. The place is a very chaos 
of fa&en rocks. The Norse ' sker,' a skerry, an isolated rock in 

Topography of Eigg, 209 

the sea, appears in the form ' sgeir/ in which it has been bor- 
rowed into Gaelic in several names which, apart from that, are 
pure Gaehc, such as Sgeir Mhor, DuHh Sgeir, Garbh Sgeir. 
Flod Sgeir, however, is wholly Norse, probably Raft-skerry, from 
' floti,' a float, raft, rather than Flat-skerry, from ' flatr,' flat. 

There are two instances of the Norse ' nes,' a ness, a point. 
Eskemish is referred to ' askr,' an ash (tree), a spear, a small 
ship, but ' oskr,' roaring, bellowing, is a possible derivation. 
There are Sgeir Eskemish and Maol Eskemish, ' maol ' meaning 
the brow of a hill or rock. Breaca-nis, with Bogha na Brioe-nis, 
in maps Sgeir Breacinnis, is from ' brekka,' a slope, cogn. EngHsh 
brink. * Brekka' seems to form the latter part of Seathabric, 
which is not found in the maps. The first part may be * sef,' 
a sedg© or yeUow water-flag. The Norse ' gardr,' an enclosure, 
yard, etc., cogn. English yard, garden, garth, forms the last part 
of Slocailigearaidh, as the ravine is called through which 
Abhainn a Cham Loin tumbles down towards Laig fields. The 
first part of the name is, of course, the Gaelic * sloe,' a ravine or 
<;hasm ; the second part, ' aili,' is for a form ' ainli ' or ' aingh/ ai 
being nasalized, and may be referred to Norse * hengill/ an over- 
hanging mountain, a beetling crag. The only feasible explana- 
tion of the name Thangaraidh makes the latter part of it the 
Norse ' gardr,' and the former part Norse ' thang,' kelp, Scotch 
tang, English tangle. There are Leac Thangaraidh, the flat, 
tide-washed rock (' leac,' a flat stone) of Thangaraidh, and Bogha 
Thangaraidh, the bow-shaped rook or skerry of Thangaraidh. 
Between Straidh aaid Kildonan there are two small lochs, one of 
which is called Lochan a' Ghriuth, pronounced ' Ghri'u ' 
(Dhri'u?). There is a Norse word * gria,' a domicile, home, but 
whatever it means, the presence of the article (a') goes to show 
that Ghriuth is a Gaelic word ; perhaps from ' ghru," the root of 
* grioth," a pebble, and of ' grothlach,' gravel. Not far off is 
' Bealach Sgriuthu,' pass or opening of the landshp ; Norse 
' sgrida,' a landslip. Another name evidently from the Norse is 
Grulin, pronounced Grulainn, in 1629 Growlin, of which there 
are two, viz., Grulin lochdrach or Lower Grulin, in 1498 
Grudling-etrach, and Grulin Uachdrach or Upper Grulin, pro- 
bably the Grudlingneyuaidleane of 1498; perhaps stoney-land, 
from ' grjot,' stones. There is a Gruline also in Mull. Near the 
foot of Sgor an Fharaidh, on the Survey maps, are the names 
Laosgonon, and further north Guala Aoinisteir, which may be 
Norse, but are at present unexplained. 

Most of the remaining names are plain and easy Gaelic, but 



210 • Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

those that; are more obscure may be mentioned. Rudh 'an Aiseid 
of the maps is pronounced Rudh 'an (Fh)asaidh. Macleod and 
Dewar give obsolete * asadh/ anchoring, resting, settHng, which 
comes from ' foss,' the old form of * fois,' rest. Not far off is 
Poll Duchaill, written in maps Poll Ducha and Poll an Dubh- 
achais. Duchaill must be Dubh-choill, black-wood. Near 
Laig is Bealach Airidh Leir. There is an old word * lear ' which 
means sea. The place overlooks the depression supposed to have 
been of old a land-locked bay. Cnocan Druiseach, in Cleadale, is 
explained as Cnocan Driseach, thorny hillock. Straidh, pro- 
nounced Strothu, Bealach Asa Foimeagan, Cnoc Ghroleamain, 
Ceann DuiHnn, An Tuilead (' ui ' nasal) have stiU to be explained. 
One name that ought not to be left unnoticed is Rudha na 
Crannaig, point or promontory of the Crannog. The name is 
that of a rock on the shore below Kildonan farm-house, and shows 
that a crannog, or ' lake-dwelling ' as they are often called, must 
have stood here at some time in the edge of the sea. 

10th MARCH, 1898. 

At the meetiug this evening Mr D. Mimro, teacher, Doch- 
garroch, was elected an ordinary member of the Society. There- 
after Mr D. Campbell, editor, " Northern Chronicle,' read an 
exceptionally interesting paper on " The Old Statistical Accounts 
of Scotland." Mr Campbell's paper was as follows : — 

General Remarks. 

Some time ago I had occasion, in searching for a bit of 
historical information that I rightly supposed to be contained 
therein, to overhaul one of the nineteen published volumes of the 
Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, which are in the Inverness Pubhc 
Library. I found so much of other interestiog information m 
the said volume that I had a good look over the whole series. I 
found all the volumes, except the first one, and the indices of two 
or three of the other ones, \mcut, as they came from the binder's 
hands. 'Diis neglect by the reading pubhc is accounted for, 
mainly if not wholly, by the fad> that the Exchequer Rolls and 
other documents are in mediaeval Latin. There are a few short 

The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. 211 

pieces, however, in early Scotch-English, which, owing to the 
ever-shifting spelling and obsolete words, are far more (^cult to 
understand than the Latin text. The latter indeed, so far as it 
was written by the chief clerks of the realm, is very intelligible 
and ingenious. Feudal and other terms, of which the Bomans 
knew nothin, are phrased with a.musing cleverness ; and as for the 
body of the work, its style is above the average level. But in the 
" Rentalia Domini Regis," or " Rents of Uie Lord King,", the 
Latin of the no doubt much piizzled clerks of the Commissioners 
sent forth to " set " or let the King's lands, becomes often imgram- 
matical, and not infrequently a jargon of confused languages. 
Besides the ' Rentals," the " Libri Responsionijm," or Responde 
Books, contain a record of sasines, and take their name from the 
responsibihty of Sheriffs for the payment of fees, fines, and reliefs 
by the people who received " enfeoffment." 

The first volume begins with 1266. The documents belonging 
to the reign of Alexander III. are very fragmentary, but valuable. 
They suffice to show that in settled order, commerce, and general 
progress, Scotland at the death of the Third Alexander was not 
behind but rather ahead of England. Truly this state of advance- 
ment was astonishing in most things pertaining to what we call 
civilisation. On Alexander's death the period of long troubles 
commenced. After Bannockbum, Bruce set himself, with organ- 
ising skiU and energy, to repair the damages of war, rapine, and 
devastation. He did much in a few years to restore Scotland to 
its flourishing condition under the last of the Alexanders. The 
administrative forms were the same as before ; but Bruce had to 
reward his old companions in arms by large portions of what had 
been of old Crown land — ^the Swordlands — of both Picts and 
Scots. The Brudan records are also fragmentary, for what the 
father won and restored the son nearly lost, and what he left to 
his suxx}essor was a dilapidated Scotland, financially as well as 
otherwise. David Bruce's only redeeming qualities were personal 
courage and a jovial disposition. He could keep iiie future Wohc 
of Badenoch and his unruly brothers under conlk-ol and clap them 
in prison. His successor and nephew, who was older than him- 
self, Robert II., the first of the Stuarts, was unable to rule well 
his own family, not to say his kingdom. His libertinism in youth 
was retrieved by warrior courage and conduct. On ascending 
the throne it was sooi?l discovered that he had exhausted his better 
qualities, and that his evil habits still dung to him. He was soon 
glad to devolve the cares of State on his capable second son by 
his first marriage, Robert, Dqke of Albany, and to hide himself 
in his country and island castles and manors With his " beloved 


212 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Maura " or " dearest Mariota de Cardney," He sowed dragon s 
teeth for his dynasty and for his kingdom by his double famihes 
and broods of illegitimates. The Third Robert, his son and suc- 
cessor, was a well meaning man, but an incapable ruler. He was 
fortunate in having got a good wife, and in being the father of the 
greatest of the Stuart kings. 

The Duke of Albany possessed the ruling gifts which his 
father and his elder brother lacked. The Rolls, Hke all the other 
remaining pubhc documents of the forty years between 1380 and 
1420, when he died, bear a good deal of silent testimony in favour 
of Albany. It is true that Earl Douglas and other nobles, who 
deserved to be forfeited and executed as traitors, were too strong 
for Albany, and that he had to compromise with them ; and that 
after Harlaw, too, he could not adequately pimish or bring the 
Lord of the Isles to obedience, although he made a son of his own 
Earl of Ross, and fortified the Castle of Dingwall. But as far as 
legal writs ran, the Duke of Albany was a good ruler, and the 
protector of the poor from the oppression of the proud and 
powerful On his death misrule crept in. Duke Murdoch of 
Albany could not rule his own family, far less the Kingdom of 

The Five Jameses. 

So the right heir of the Crown, James the First, was brought 
home from his long captivity in England, and placed on the 
throne. James introduced some English forms and principles, 
into Scotch jurisprudence and Scotch administration. No one 
can justly blame him for his strenuous endeavours to extend the 
authority of the King and laws to every part of the country. 
The Albany family deserved pimishment, perhaps, but scarcely 
the exterminating severity with which they were treated. Who 
would ever think of displacing King James to put the incapable 
Duke Murdach or his rowdy son Walter on the throne of Scot- 
land? As for the execution and forfeiture of the Earl of Lennox, 
Duke Murdach's father-in-law, no documents throw light on 
them, but some Perthshire traditions indicate that during the 
Albany rule the Earl of Lennox took possession of the Crown 
lands in Discher and Toyer (Breadalbane), Glenlyon, and Strath- 
tay, and dealt with them as if they had been his own legal 
possesions. The forfeitures of the Earl of Lennox and the Albany 
family not only enriched the Crown, repairing the loss of the 
thanages bestowed by Bruce on companions in arms, but they 
also ^ihanced the historical and antiquarian value of the Ex- 
chequer Rolls, by detailed accounts of the farms and rents of 

The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 2ia 

farms on the forfeited estates. King James, statesman, poet, 
and aocompUshed gentleman, became the vicstim of a dynastic 
conspiracy ojc murderers, at the head of which was his aged nncle, 
Walter, Earl of Atholl, whom he had never suspected of treason- 
able designs, on whom he had heaped benefits, and who counten- 
anced, if he had not instigated, the destruction of the Albany 
family. As a man and as a king, James the First was the best of 
his race, and one of the very greatest rulers Scotland ever had. 
He certainly struck hard, on behalf of King and Commons, at 
the haughty nobles who set themselves above the law, and had 
his hfe been spared twenty years longer, they would probably 
have been all brought under obedience, or disposed of by the 
executioner. He never suspected Atholl as a rival claimant for 
the Crown ; and what is stranger stiU, notwithstanding Harlaw, 
he restored Boss to Alexander of the Isles, and trusted him as a 
cousin and faithful subject much more than, as later events 
proved, Alexander should have been trusted. 

In the Exchequer Rolls there is far less evidence of trouble 
and confusion during the minority of James II. than should have 
been expected. But at a later stage there is abundant evidence 
of vigorous rule when the young King took the helm in his own 
hand. The great stain on the second James's shield is that, in 
a fit of youthful passion, he slew the treacherous, overbearing 
Earl of Douglas when he went to his Court at Stirling imder a 
letter of safeKJonduct. The Earl of Douglas was at the time 
steeped to the lips in treason to king and country ; but ' tho' the 
loon was weel awa', the deed was foully done." This foul deed 
was the Second James's only dishonourable act. The contem- 
porary historians of this period were almost all foreigners, who 
paid small attention to Scotch affairs. The few native chroniclers 
recorded very confusedly only the chief events of this and of the 
early part of the next reign. The publication of the Exchequer 
RoUs and other State documents, Scotch and English, correct the 
errors of Boece, Pitscottie, and Buchanan, and throw steady light 
on the obscurest of Stuart reigns. " James with the fiery face " 
gains immensely by the revdation of his motives and actions 
which these documents supply. He was every inch a king, and 
if not quite such a model in private life as his father, nor such a 
far-seeing statesman, he was not a whit less vigorous in asserting 
the authority of the law, and in striking at leagued treason, the 
existence of which he had plenty of reason to be convinced of, 
although the full proofs were not brought to light until centuries 
after his premature death. In Mary of Gueldres he had a 
splendid wife. It is rather a singular fact that the Stuarts were 

214 Gaelic Society of inuerness, 

generally fortunate in marrying noble women, although the first 
waa the only one of the five successive Jameses, wi^ hout a break, 
who was a most faithful husband. 

The next reign was an imhappy one. It began well under 
the guidance of the widowed Queen and Bishop Kennedy. They 
both died too soon for Scotland and its boy-king. Perhaps James 
the Third would have been a p-ood king of his kind in a settled, 
highly-civilised country. He was devoted to architecture, music, 
and the fine arts. He kept the haughty nobility at a distance, 
and surrounded himself with favourites, or persons skilled in the 
arts to which he was devoted. There is, strange to say, not a 
single mention of Cochrane, the master mason or architect, who 
was hanged with others — but not with the tailor, who lived long 
afterwards — over Lauder Bridge. There is no proof whatever in 
the Rolls that Cochrane was ever actually invested in the Earldom 
of Mar. If he was the architect of the splendid buildings of this 
reign, the King might well be excused for preferring his company 
to that of the rude, blustering nobles who could not write their 
names. He could not, however, be excused for neglecting his 
duties as a king. The mailed fist was needed for the government 
of Scotland, and James only wore velvet gloves. The Rolls show 
changes in regard to the letting of Crown lands, which leave no 
doubt as to the prevalence of both favouritism and neglect. But 
the accounts of revenue and expenditure were duly kept in regular 
form, and a good deal of what was taking place in the political 
state of the country, and what was going on at Court, can be 
gathered from their contents. It may be noticed that from the 
beginning, down as far as the published series extends, all the 
accounts are kept in Roman nimierals. It was a terribly climisy 
system. Old Scotchmen were evidently good mental arithmeti- 
cians, but their Roman numeral system compelled them to stop 
short of decimal fractions. They did not ^o further than a. fourth, 
a half, and a third, say, of a penny or other small coin. James 
the Third perished ignobly. His excellent Queen, Margaret oi 
Denmark, who brought as her tocher, or rather as the pledges for 
her tocher, the Orlmey and Shetland Islands to Scotland, died 
before him. Had she lived, perhaps, the conspiracy would never 
have come to a head. At least her influence should have sufficed 
to save her son from revolting against his father. 

James IV. was a sad libertine, and withal a splendid king. 
Under him grants to mistresses and appointments to illegitimate 
children berame again as rank as they were in the time of the 
first of the Stuart kings. As a king, however, he was popular as 
well as masterful. He was also an accomplished knight, scholar, 

The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. 215 

and linguist. He is ceirtified to have spoken Gaelic, as well as 
Latin, French, and English. He had much to do with the settling 
of the Highlands and Islands, after the final suppression of the 
Lord of the Isles, who, by the way, was not sixty years of age 
when he died in the monastery of Paisley after all his varied career. 
James, when he had no other more uieful adventure by sea and 
land m hand, made a pilgrimage either to Tain or some other 
shrine. He was always moving about, and resumed the habit of 
the early kings ia taking a personal part at the Justiciary Courts. 
Justice was administered impartially under the watchful eyes of a 
king who, although no saint, was essentially a just and upright 
man. He was temperate ia a very intemperate age in the matter 
of drink, but was, at the same time, a splendid host and a 
charming guest when sojourning in the caistles of his nobles. 
Altogether, he must be placed next, as a ruler, to the First James, 
and, of the two, he was by far the more popular. His marriage 
with Margaret Tudor ultimately led to the union of Scotland and 
England, and yet the matrimonial connection and his common 
sense did not prevent him from rushing into an unreasonable war 
with England, conducting that war foolinshly, and meeting his 
fate at Flodden. As a statesman he was infinitely inferior to his 
great ancestor, yet his final folly notwithstanding, he did much for 
Scotland, and well deserved popularity in life and mourning in 

His son's reign began in shadows and ended in shadows. 
tJpon the whole, it is as gloomy as the reign of the Third James. 
But "the King of the Commons," while much inferior to his 
father, was not a feeble ruler like his grandfather. The tyranny 
of the Douglases probably warped his natural disposition. At 
anyrate, while he got on well with the Commons, and made him- 
self a hero of ballad and legend stories, he showed suspicion and 
vindictiveness towards the nobihty, and, under bad guidance, 
misimderstood the signs of the time in respect to ecclesiastical and 
poHtical affairs. His sensual excesses are supposed to have 
clouded his mind and shortened his days. He Hved, indeed, but 
what seemed to be half his span. Not one of the five Jamesee 
xiied what could be called a natural death. 

How Kings and People Fared. 

The Kings of Scotland had never any great command of 
money, but they did not lack the means of maintaining royal 
pomp of State, when it suited them, and from having generously 
hospitable homes. They had manors, lands, and forests of their 
own in all parts of the country; and so, by moving about with 


216 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

their Court attendants, they could enjoy many changes of domi- 
cile, and consume the rent in kind, wheat, barley, oats, marts,, 
mutton, poultry, pigs, herrings, salmon, etc., where they weie 
payable, along with money rents, and use the other services of 
tenants. As they began to be more stationary in their habits, 
and took to staying, except in the hunting season, chiefly in 
Edinburgh, Linlithgow, Stirling, Perth, and Falkland, the rents 
in kind of distant possessions were commuted for money, but the 
old distinction between money and produce was still retained down 
to a very late period. The household accounts show that our 
kings and their courtiers hved generously, and even luxuriously. 
They had, as far back a& the records go, French, Spanish, Rhenish, 
and even Greek wines. They were fond of spices of all kinds. 
Pepper is often the quit rent of blench holdmgs. Honey and 
sugar they had in abundance. They consumed great quantities 
of home-brewn ale, and had beer imported from Germany and 
the Netherlands. I have not noticed in the first sixteen volimies 
a single mention of whisky or " aqua vitse. ' But that is not at all 
strange, as, until last century, whisky was not generally used as 
a drink at all. It was, however, used as medicine more than a 
thousand years ago. According to the ancient poems of Wales, 
there were distillers in Galloway in the days of the Romans and 
King Arthur, and the monks afterwards continued to distil what 
they called " strong waters." Ale was made both from barley 
and from oats — the former being much preferred, but the latter 
being not despised. A middle class of ale was brewed from 
mixing barley malt and oat malt together. Honey and wax were 
apparently plentiful. Wax was in great request for church, 
palace, and castle lights. Honey was used for a hundred pur- 
poses of cooking and brewing, besides being eaten from the comb 
or from the jar into which it had been melted, along with bread 
and meat. Grapes and raisins, like spices, were imported. The 
home orchards produced apples, pears, and plums. The Scotch 
Kings of the later era had good gardens at Edinburgh, Linlith- 
gow, Falkland, Perth, Stirling, etc. We may conclude that their 
predecessors had gardens also, which, if not so good, were still 
more numerous, because they roved more about to eat the pro- 
duce of their possessions where it was grown. The accounts of 
cooks or clerks of the kitchen, in the time of the five Jameses, 
record a huge consumption of salad herbs and of endives, leeks, 
and onions. Kale of aU kinds was largely grown and used all the 
year round, America had stiU to be discovered, and it was not 
till a century after the discovery of America that Sir Walter 
Raleigh introduced that prince of vegetables, the potato. What 

The Exchequer Rolls of Sicotland. 217 

were the substitutes that did duty for the potato in the olden 
times? Parsnips and cabbages chiefly, which were both pitted 
at the beginmng of winter, and so kept good till new ones grew. 
I have not come across any mention of turnips. The parsnip was 
not a garden but a field crop. Its Gaelic name is * curran, ' and it 
has affixed its name to many Highland places, hke '' Tom-a- 
chmrain," " Lub-a-churrain, ' and so forth. Of course the clerks 
of the kitchen took no notice in their accounts of the smaller fruits 
and vegetables which were mere gamishings, and grew in all the 
king's gardens. Some of the queens had gardens and gard^iers 
of th^ own, and we get a hiat of flower gardening here and there 
without anything more. It is different with medicinal plants. 
A monk near Stirling was paid handsomely for medicinal herbs 
from his garden, which were given to the horses of the king. 
Roses were apparently favourite flowers, for red rosef* are among 
the quit rents of very ancient charters, along with such other 
curious reddendoes as falcons, hounds, broad arrows, small arrows, 
scarlet cloaks, etc. The broad arrows were shot from a catapult 
sort of machiae, and the small arrows by archers. 

All ranks of the Scotch people, from the king on the throne o 
the lowest of his subjects, ate mostly through the wiater months 
of the year salt beef and mutton — including goats' flesh in the 
second category. TKe " marts " and sheep and goats were killed 
at Martinmas, salted in barrels, and afterwards smoked and 
thoroughly cured for spring and early summer use. Salmbn and 
herrings were treated in almost the same way, and so was the 
venison, which was not consumed when freshly killed. In the 
accounts, " birds," that is game birds as distinct from poultry, 
figure more rarely than might be expected ; but that is no doubt 
because they are only mentioned when bought, which would only 
happen when the king did not live near his own land. He had 
many foresters and huntsmen, and Crown tenants reared and 
trained dogs of the chase for him. Under the Jameses it appears 
that at Falkland and other places the royal table was supplied by 
fresh meat in winter — ^animals being fattened for the purpose, 
and poultry being, of course, always available. But from Martin- 
mas to well on in summer the salted and smoked stores of butcher 
meat, fish, and venison had to serve the people in general for the 
animal part of their food. The Lowlands had pigs in fair abund- 
ance — the millers especially — and herds of porkers consumed the 
beech mast and acorns in the woods of the king and the nobility. 
Geese and ducks were also numerous in the Lowlands. In the 
Highlands pigs were seemingly few. The three nulls of Bal- 
quhidder, instead of pigs, had to give annually to the king eight 

218 Gae/m Society of Inverness, 

well-fed calves. The Scotch people needed much the aid of anti- 
scorbutic vegetables to modify the heating effect of their winter 
diet — salt meat and oatmeal. But they had always plenty of 
milk. They milked goats and sheep as well as cows. They made 
great quantities of cheese and butter, much of which was exported 
to foreign lands. The principal exports for many centuries were 
wool, woolfels of three descriptions,, hides, skins, tanned leather, 
furs, smoked fish and herrings, and salmon salted down in barrels. 
Probably the whole popidation did not amount to seven himdred 
thousand. They had, therefore, plenty of elbow-room, and very 
often " grassings ' were " waste," that is without tenants, besides 
all the wide stretches which were always forests. The accounts 
of cities and burghs show the trades of the urban population and 
the ups and downs of the national commerce, which was, indeed, 
in a more flourishing condition in 1285 than it was at any time 
during the next three centuries, although it made a wonderful 
upward start under the rule of the Fourth James ; but all that or 
more was lost in the next two reisus. James the Fourth kept 
thousands of sheep in his forest of Ettrick, and had herds of horses 
and cattle in the old royal forests of the southern Highlands, 
Strongartnay, Glenfinlas, Mamlorne, the greatest and best of 
them all, Strathbrand, etc. Glen-Urquhart and Glenmoriston 
had been forests in the previous reigns, with which the Lord of 
the Isles had " intromittit " at first, and of which, with Urquhart 
Castle, he subsequently got a lease, and so held them legally imtil 
his next rebellion. The amount of wool exported in this king's 
time proves that there must have been a larger number of sheep 
in Scotland than has hitherto been supposed. But they were 
chiefly kept in the Lowlands or places bordering thereupon. The 
Highlands needed most of the wool grown in them for clothing 
their own inhabitants. But with hides and cattle they also ex- 
ported some cloth, yam, and many furs. Upon the whole, when 
internal and external peace prevailed, under such a ruler as James 
the Fourth, who most usefully expended His energy and employed 
his love of adventure in settling the islands and northern main- 
land after the final collapse of the power of the Lord of the Isles, 
the state of the Scottish kingdom was far from xmhappy. The 
people had plenty of elbow-room, and the means of subsistence 
sufficed for their wants. The tragedy of Flodden for nearly a 
century stopped and even reversed the current of progress which 
was in full flow from 1490 till 1512. 

The essential features of national and court life revealed by 
the Exchequer Rolls are, from first to last, astonishingly modem. 
From the beginning of anything that can be called continuous 

The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. 219 

record history — say from 1130 to the beginning of the present 
century — ^the social and industrial organisations of Scotland 
remained much the same. But, of course, with the removal of 
the Court to England a break occuired at the social apex, and 
the Reformation made a thorough change iu the form and guiding 
principles of the national religion. James V., who was a libertine 
like his father, threatened bishops, priests, abbots, and monks 
with pains and penalties if they did not amend their lives, but he 
never went beyond threats. His great-great-orandfather, James 
I., would have made a better reformer had his life not been cut 
short. He was painfully aware of the ecclesiastical scandals — 
which afterwards became worse— and not only had the mind of a 
reformer, but the pure and noble personal character which gave 
him a right to reform a demoralised Church, and made him an 
example to its clergy, some of whom were as anxious for the 
repression of abuses as he was himself. Harpers, bards, jesters 
or fools, yea, and companies of seemingly regular playactors, 
appear in the household accounts back as far as they go. But 
one is somewhat surprised to learn that King David Bruce had 
pipers. He was not content, like the Queen, with one piper. So 
there were pipers in Scotland two centuries before the battle of 
Pinkie, the date usually assigned to the first historically recorded 
appearance of the piper on the battlefield, and who knows how 
long they might have been in popular use before David Bruce had 
his pipers ? As to the early use of the word " Clachan ' for the 
Church-place both in Highlands and Lowlands, the Rolls put an 
end to controversy. The word was in use from immemorial times, 
instead of having been introduced, as some contended, about the 
period of the Reformation. " Clachan," or the stone circles, were 
the churches of the Druids, and the first Christian missionaries 
established their places of worship at or near them, partly, 
perhaps, as a sign that the heathen religion was superseded by a 
•better one, and partly, we may be sure, because they could not 
find more convenient places than those at which the people had 
been accustomed to assemble for many generations. 

Valuation Roll Information. 

The Exchequer RoUs are rich ^uarries for genealogists and 
those who search after place-names. It so happens that tlie 
assedations, that is to say, the settings or lettings of the King's 
land on leases, give in many instances detailed, or what may be 
caUed Valuation Roll, accounts of the people, places, rents, and 
services. Forfeitures and wardships brought, at different times, 
wide domains which were not Crown lands \mder the survey of 

220 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

chamberlaiiis, sheriffs, and bailies. In the Highlands, the for- 
feiture and execution of Duncan, Earl of Lennox, placed under 
such a survey, in the reign of James I., the county of Lennox, 
which extended beyond the bounds of the present Dumbarton- 
shire. The Earldoms of Stratheam and Monteith fell, for other 
reasons, into the possession of the Crown. Discher and Toyer, or 
the north and south sides of Loch Tay, with Glendochart and 
Glenlochay, were, like the Lordship of Doime, Glenlyon, Rannoch, 
and Apnadall, origiiial Crown lands, which, after having been 
partly granted away and partly taken away, without a legal title, 
by Duncan, Earl of Lennox, and his son-in-law, Duke Miirda>ch 
of Albany, were all recovered by James I., and kept by his suc- 
cessors until most of them were granted on feu-ferme conditions 
by James IV. to particular owners. Balquhidder was also King's 
land, and part of the dowry of Queen Margaret Tudor. The word 
*' Breadalbane " is never biafore 1550 used in the Rolls. Its lands 
are always described as the Lordships of Discher and Toyer— 
Deasair agus Tuair, sun side and shade side — and of Glendochart 
and Glenlochay. Across the heads of Glenlochay, Glenlyon, and 
Rannoch stretched the Forest of Mamlome, or old Caledonian 
Forest, which it seems, however, although it remained a forest 
always, was never placed under strict forest laws until the reign 
of James II. We have no detailed account of the Earldom of 
Atholl, when it was forfeited by Earl Walter's share in the murder 
of James I. But about 1520 the then boy-earl of the Lome 
Stuart descent was a ward of the Crown, and his possessions are 
summarised, while the dowry lands of his mother. Countess Janet 
Campbell, are, by way of exception, given in detail. In 1450 a 
rental of the Earldom of Atholl was given in by Robert, the son 
of Duncan, then chamberlain or bailie. This is the rough, loyal, 
fighting Robert of Struan, from whom the Clan Donnadiaidh, or 
Robertsons, took their second surname. Lochaber, the Earldom 
of Ross, the Lordship of Ardmanach, Cantire, Knapdale, Islay, 
MuU, and other places, fell under survey after the final collapse of 
the Lord of the Isles, the death of his son, Angus, and the defeat 
of Alexander of Lochalsh. Apparently Glen-Urquhart and 
Glenmoriston had always been King's lands till the Lords of the 
Isles, who were Earls of Ross, got for some time a partly forcible 
and a partly legal hold of them. The Earldom of Moray came 
several times under survey by default of heirs. While the Lovats 
had good stretches, like Abertarff, of purely Highland lands, their 
possessions about the Beauly Firth — or Loch Whennor — were 
somewhat limited, until the Reformation helped them to get hold 
of the Priory lands and fishings. Beaufort and Kiltarlity be- 

I he Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. 221 

longed to the King, and the King's lands there were extended at 
the end of the sixteenth century, or beginning of the next, by an 
exchange. Janet Fentone and her husband got the Mains of 
Kincleven, in Perthshire, in exchange for Bunchrew, Phopachy, 
and other lands in the Airds. In all the cases we have mentioned, 
and in others similar to them, there are more or less detailed 
accounts of holdings, while the grazings attached to them 
go as parts of them without being mentioned, except when there 
are changes that make specific mention necessary. But they are 
never forgotten in the rents and entry or renewal duties. The 
Commissioners of Assedation, who were periodically sent forth 
to set or let the permanent Crown lands, had clerks that were 
much inferior, in their Latinity to the chief clerks who wrote the 
charters and the Exchequer Rolls. But if their Latin halted 
badly, they gave the place names and the names and surnames of 
the tenants, down to the man who paid a few pence for a hut and 
allotment, with more phonetic accuracy than their superiors. 
The assedation reports are very full, and in regard to topography 
and ethnology, exceedingly interesting. The very best of them 
are those concerning the King's lands in the Lordship of Doune, 
Breadalbane, and Strathgartney, that is the Loch Vennacher, 
Loch Katerine, and Glenfinlas districts. The next best are those 
concerning the Macdonald forfeited lands in Cantire and Knap- 
dale. King's tenants were, as a rule, better protected from 
external assaults and raiders than the tenants of tJie Abbots and 
Bishops. Turbulent nobles and other leaders of lawless men 
feared to ravage the King's lands, at least in the more settled 
districts. But in other respects the King's tenants suffered under 
disadvantages. They had to give, for instance, more himting and 
hosting or mihtary services than other men's tenants. For any 
sudden emergencies the King's tenants were called out as the army 
readiest to hand. But as for the hunting services, there were so 
many royal forests that the pressure of them was only felt occa- 
sionally, and when the pressure came it had its compensations. 
The tenants enjoyed the sport as well as the King and his nobles, 
and they further enjoyed the venison which was so freely distri- 
buted among them. In the places where the King had lands and 
no forests to visit, the system of letting or setting a whole thanage 
or barony to a middleman, for a term of years, can be traced back 
in the records to the usurpation of Edward of England, if not 
further. Edward let the Scotch Crown lands, as far as he got 
hold of them, for the rents and duties — ^valued in money — which 
were paid to Alexander III. The big tacksman, or middleman, 
or imdertaiker could squeeze as much as he liked those who had 

222 Gaelio Society of Inverness, 

previously been kindly tenants of the Scotch Kings, generation 
after generation, for anything the English usurper cared, since, 
as a dass, the kindly tenants of the Scotch Crown were most 
inimical to his pretensions. This bad system of middlemen 
never afterwards wholly came to an end, although it was much 
modified in favour of the tenants. The more ancient plan was to 
raise the King's rents by a chamberlain, steward, or bailie, or 
mair, who was simply an officer of the Crown, and could easily be 
removed on proof of attempting oppression. Crown tenants, 
about the forests which the kings were in the habit of frequently 
visiting, had ready access with their complaints and grievances 
to their sovereign lord, and, if they made good their case, pity 
then the officer or middleman who abused his position. In cer- 
tain cases, however, power was given to middlemen to sublet to 
other tenants than those who had been on the land before. This 
happened when the old tenants had been harbouring outlaws or 
traitors, or had themselves been breaking the laws. James IV. 
granted out to individuals considerable portions of outlying Crown 
lands on a feu-ferme tenure, which was a modification of the old 
feudal system, and by which the revenues of the Crown gained, 
excepting in cases of favouritism. 

Anent the Castle of Inverness. 

In the seventh century King Brude had a fortified place — 
which almost certainly was Craig Phatrick — overlooking the 
River Ness. It needed a mirade on the part of St Columba to 
burst open its strong gates, and so to e^et an entrance for himself 
and the Christian faith within its defences. In the reign of 
Malcolm Ceann-Mor the old circular or oval strongholds of the 
Celtic races began to give place to strong and frowning stone and 
lime oastlee. If Inverness had not such a castle in Malcolm's 
time, it had assuredly one of the kind when his son. King David, 
made it one of the eight justiciary places of Alba, or Scotland north 
of the Firths of Forth and Clyde. As what Cromwell left of the 
Abbey of Kinlosa testifies to this day, King David's monastic 
erections were built, so to speak, to last for ever. It is, therefore, 
reasonable to assume that his castles were equally solid, "fint in 
1411, that is to say, about 260 years after King David's (Jeath, 
the Lord of the Isles — ^Donald of Harlaw — ^found little or no 
difficulty in taking possession of Inverness. Through neglect, 
King David's Castle may by that time have fallen, partially at 
least, into ruins. In 1412 tha Duke of Albany began to build or 
rebuild the Castle of Dingwall, and Donald of HarlaVs anta- 
gonist, Alexander, Earl of Mar, the best of the Wolf of Badenoch's 

The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 223 

many illegifcinLate sons, rebuilt, under the Councirs orders, the 
Castle of Inverness. The KoUs record the cost of large quantities 
of materials, lime, timber, stones, used for the building, and also 
the wages of master masons and others. The new castle was a 
towered structure. The Earl of Mar likewise made two " turn- 
spikes " for it ; that is to say, two winding stairs in circular towers. 
He must liave had some difficulty, perhaps of a temporary kind, 
until lead or slates could be procured, in roofing it ; for the people 
of Inverness are allowed a remission of duties for having covered 
some of the towers of Mar's Castle with " duvates,'' or turf. A 
" Scotch house," or timber building, was part of the structure. 
The Second James spent money on building '' a palace " at Inver- 
ness, which probably means that he added a royal residence to 
Mar's Castle. We hear nothing more after 1460 of castle or 
palace, until Inverness, town and castle, are captured by Farquhar 
Mackintosh, on behalf of the Lord of the Isles, near the end of 
the century. It seems that on that occasion both town and castle 
were burned. In consequence of the devastation the town's pay- 
ment of rent and duties to the King was for a time remitted. 
Soon afterwards the Earl of Huntly was appointed keeper of the 
Castle, and the office became hereditary in the family. Farquhar 
Mackintosh was the son of j^uncan Macldntoah, the first 
" Captain " of the Clan Chattan named in the records. It was 
the settled poHcy of James IV. to break the power of the Lord of 
the Isles forever more, by inducing his vassals to take Crown 
Charters of their lands. Duncan Mackintosh, the " Captain " of 
the Clan Chattan, who held his lands in Lochaber of the Lord of 
the Isles, was one of the first to accept a Crown Charter His 
son Farquhar was not as true as his father to the new feudal 
allegiance, and he suffered accordingly. He had to deal with a 
King who was not to be trifled with. Farquhar was sent to 
prison about the year 1495, and he is found nearly eighteen years 
later still a prisoner ia Dunbar Castle, with a pretty Hberal allow- 
ance for his maintenance there. Perhaps Flodden se(t him free. 
In the course of his long imprisonment he found it necessary to 
cancel all his *' fealls,'' or alliance and manr^xt bonds, because his 
former allies and his relations and friends were making a bad use 
of them. It was scarcely fair to former vassais of the Lords of 
the Isles, who received Crown Charters, to fiiid thewis^ves after- 
wards placed imder new feudal superiors, as was the case in 
Lochaber when Huntly received the lardsiiip thereof. In Cantdre , 
Knapdale, and the Southern Isles, Axgyll was very muck ^hat 
Himtly was in the east side of the country. As lons^ as James IV. 
lived these lieutenants of his helped greatly in carrying out his 


^•24 Gaelic Society of Inuerness, 

policy, and no doubt aggrandized themselves at the same time. 
Argyll died witn James at Flodden, and his sucxjessor was ten 
years later accused of oppression and deprived of his Lieutenancy, 
rhe Crown, however, was still too weak to act directly on the old 
vassals of the Isles with sufficient effect, and, with a few excep- 
tions, such as Maclain of Ardnamurchan, each newly-njade King's 
man liked to be a law to himself. The previous method of 
exercising authority through Himtly and Argyll had consequently 
to be resorted to again. 

Clan and Clan Surnames. 

Before 1400 very few Highland clan surnames are found in 
charters and public records. Little more than a century later, 
when King James and the flower of the Scotch nobility, gentry, 
and commons perished at Flodden, nearly all the clan surnames 
we have to-day were flourishing and rapidly superseding patro- 
nymics in charters and records. Somerled's descendants, whether 
children of Donald, Dugall, or any other chieftain, were from first 
to last record people. In other cases, leading families in whom 
chiefship or chieftainship, or captainship, of surnames vested 
afterwards, can be traced up to the reigns of the Second and 
Third Alexanders, and, in rare instances, to that of William the 
Lion. The Clan Duff or Macd\iffs have a fair right to say that, 
as a sumamed lineage, they go back to Macbeth's time. Tliey 
certainly have the honour of being the first named as a clan with 
an ancient privilege, confirmatory of their legend, in a State 
document. But while no doubt the distinct Imeages with clan 
instincts and customs always existed among the Celts of Scotland, 
the fifteenth century is the great century for the evolution of most 
of the clan surnames we have to-day. In the islands and in large 
parts of the mainland, the fall of the nearly independent princi- 
pality of the Lords of the Isles liberated Macleods, Macleans, 
MackenzLes, and many others from record obscurity. In o^-her 
places various causes operated in favour of giving prominence to 
clan surnames and alliances — one of which was bonds of manrent 
and of mutual aid and protection. On the Border, like causes, as 
in the Highlands, produced like effects. Clannishness prevailed 
in ancient Galloway and in southern Ayrshire, in Bruce's Earldom 
of Carrick particularly. Many of the Gaelic surnames, whether 
saintly or iiibal, of the people of that region were record-marked 
before the greater number of the EGghland clan surnames 
advanced to record recognition. Imitation, and no doubt neces- 
sities of existence, extended the clannish organisation, natural to 

The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. 225 

the Border Celts, to their non-Celtic neighbours of the Middle and 
Eastern Marches. On the other hand, feudal organisation super- 
ceded the Celtic one in Fife. 

The Clan Mackenzie. 

If the enlightened pohcy and personal ihflxienoe of James IV., 
who several times visited the Isles and West Coast, raised by 
Crown charters the former vassals of the Lords of the Isles to the 
status of feudal barons in the eye of the law, they forthwith 
further raised themselves in their own eyes as chiefs of tribes 
beariQg their surnames and claiming common descent; which 
claim was usually weU founded, although there were probably 
many cases of adoption. On the mainland of Rossr-shire the rise 
of tile Clan Mackenzie to leading position was astonishingly 
sudden. Before Harlaw we have seen no mention at all of the 
Mackenzie surname in the records of the kingdom of Scotland, 
although it cannot be doubted that in Kintail the family from 
which the future chiefs and clan sprung must have for a long 
time previously been important local vassals of the Earls of Ross, 
and afterwards held a similar position under Donald of Harlaw 
and his two successors. A century later the Mackenzies had 
expanded into a great clan with large territorial possessions. 
Then came the Reformation, which gave them new and greater 
chances of expansion and acquisition, of which they took full 
advantage, having in the then disturbed state of the country no 
fear of occasionally breaking the law. Before 1600 they had 
made themselves the ruling dan of Ross-shire, and had extended 
their possessions from Kintail to the Black Isle. As a clan of one 
lineage they could not have been numerically very strong during 
this period of astonishing conquests. No part of their territories 
was indeed ever solidly planted by Mackenzie tenants. But they 
knew how to amalgamate clannish with feudal organisation, and 
consequently succeeded in acquiring and retaining large stretches 
of the mainland of Ross, and later of adding thereto the Island of 
Lewis. The chiefs of Kintail planted out Mackenzies as vassals 
of their own in aU new possessions, and the Mackenzies so planted 
out, while true to their chiefs and their dan, condliated, or, when 
needed, coerced, the old native tenants so as to make them good 
Mackenzie subjects and soldiers. 


226 Gaelic Society of inuerness. 

The Clan Gregor. 

Their lawless and criminal proceedings in the sixteenth 
century, their cruel oppression in consequence thereof, the long 
proscription of their surname, their indestructible vitality, and 
remarkable bravery, made the Macgregors the most romantic of 
all the Highland dans. But further back than Black John, who 
abducted and forcibly married Helen Campbell, daughter of Sir 
Colin Campbell of Glenorchay, and a young widow, at the begin- 
ning of the sixteenth century, it is difficult to trace their authentic 
history. Their legendary history finds no corroboration from 
records or from the early chroniclers. Yet it may contain many 
grains of truth, if they only could be winniwed from the fictions. 
The Macgregor surname belongs to the era of the five Jameses. 
The Rolls do not throw much Hght on its origin.. The Dean oo 
Lismore, his brother Dimcan, " daor oglach " or servitor, and the 
Dean's curate at Fortingall, supply to some extent by obituary 
notices an outline of the history of their clan., from the death of 
John " Gregorius " of Glenorchay, in 1390, to 1579. Even in 
the hands of these three Macgregors the dan surname only be- 
came fixed after the death of Gregor, son of one-eyed John, who 
died in 1415. By whatever patronymic or surname they were 
known, they must have been a pretty numerous, if, perchance, a 
scattered kindred before Gregor of 1415, and John Gregorius of 
1390. The many death notices in the '' Chronicle of Fortingall " 
between Gregorys death and the end of the century prove that 
beyond dispute. But with the exception of Glenstrae, held of a 
subject superior, where were their land possessions? In the 
" Libri Responsionum " there is no Macgregor sasine recorded. 
But in 1468, or 1470, " Duncan Beg," or Duncan the Little, was 
King's tenant for four years of ten merklands in Glenlyon, that is 
to say of the " Toiseachd " of Roro. He succeeded Alan Stewart, 
whose lease was not renewed beca^se he had not paid his rent. 
Duncan died seven years later, but his descendants cpntinued as 
tenants or tacksmen of the King, and afterwards of the Menzieses 
of Weem, for many o-enerations. About 1430 the slaughter of a 
man and the despoliation of his lands by Macgregors in Strath- 
earn is recorded in the Rolls. Payments are made to two Mac- 
gregor priests in the succeeding reigns, one of whom was chaplain 
of Dumbarton Castle. Towards the end of the fifteenth century 
a Macgregor is mair of Crieff. With the exception of the 
slaughter of the Stratheam man, there is no sign of the lawlessness 
which characterised Clan Gregor proceedings during the next 


The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. 227 

century. The said proceedings were not due to a double dose of 
original sin, but to a sense of injury. If we m&j venture on suck 
slight foundation as Duncan B^s lease of Roro, and the man of 
Crieff's official position, to assume that the ancestors of the Clan 
Gregor had for centuries been kindly tenants of the King's lands, 
foresters, local officials, and tacksmen, in later times, of thaHages, 
that supposition would account for the claim of descent from 
Kenneth MacAlpin, and for the vengeful resentment aroused by 
the feu-ferme charters of James IV. and his successors to indi- 
vidual owners. The process to which kindly tenants and local 
officials of the Crown would be subjected by the feiiing charters 
to individual proprietors would be the opposite of that by Which 
the gentry of the Isles were raised from Macdonald vassalage to 
the independence of free barons. The Clan Gregor, moreover, in 
the sixteenth century, began, although they did not eUd there, 
the slaughters and depredations for which they were subsequently 
prosecuted, and cruelly persecuted in the Ltennox and Perthshire 
districts, which had been Crown lands from the dim ages of 
antiquity. The forests of Strathgartney, Mamlome, Benmore, 
etc., which still belonged to the King, were their places of refuge, 
and in Breadalbane they took to squatting on the Church lands 
of the Abbots of Scone, and the Perth Carthusians, to whom the 
First James had given Ardtalnaig, and his son the barony of 
Glendochart with the exception of Macnab's " Eilan Ryne," and 
the property of Charles Campbell in Glenfalloch. 

The hereditary tendency existed over all Scotland, but it was 
stronger in the Celtic than in the " Gallda " districts, because it 
was a natural adjunct of clannishness. Forfeitures and transfer^ 
of ownership produced more or less displacement always of old 
tenants and local officials to make room for kinsmen or trusty 
supporters of new owners. The temporary occupation of Ross- 
shire by the Lords of the Isles left its permanent traces on the 
population of that country, which, with all their absorbing and 
displacing vigour, the Mackenzies were not able to efface. In 
Lochaber the Macdonalds kept a firm hold as middlemen of Kep- 
poch and common tenants, although the lordship passed to the 
Gordons, and the Mackintoshes were emancipated from their 
former vassalage. The people displaced through changes of 
ownership often nursed their wrath to keep it warm, never for- 
getting their " duclias " or hereditary claim to ancestral posses- 
sions, although in most cases that claim had never recognition and 
sanction from the written law of the land. 

228 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

" The King of the Commons." 

In 1539 James the Fifth sent a Royal Commission of asseda> 
tion to the North, to let or set his lands of the Earldom of Ross 
and Lordship of Ardmanach on five years' leases. The Commis- 
sioners were the Comptroller, David Wood of Craig ; Robert Reid, 
Abbot of Kinloss ; James Foulis of Colintoun, Clerk of the Rolls ; 
Thomas Bellenden, Director of Chancery; and Henry Lawder, 
King's Advocate. They b^^an their sittings at Inverness on the 
21st of April, 1539, and sudi cases as were left over at Inverness 
were afterwards settled by the Comptroller in Edinburgh. James 
the Fifth deserved to be called *' The King of the Commons." All 
his assedation Commissions were instructed to favour the culti- 
vating tenants, and not to grant leases of large tracts of Crown 
lands to men of big estates, with liberty to have sub-tenants. 
James set his face against the system of middlemen which pre- 
vailed during the confused years of his minority. His father's 
system of feu-fermes had, on increased rent, given much of the old 
Crown lands to private owners. But, by forfeitures and revoca- 
tions, James became a larger proprietor of Highland property 
than any King of Scotland nad be^i since the War of Independ- 
ence. By means of his assedation Commissions he checked the 
grasping policy of mighty local potentates, and brought the tenants 
of the Crown into direct contact with their sovereign landlord. 
AlS a statesman he misread the portents of the time in which he 
lived ; and as a man he led a scandalously immoral hf e, but he was 
always a popular favourite, and not undeservedly, for his constant 
aim was to raise the people and to abase the too powerful nobles 
who set law and justice at defiance. As they contain the names of 
the cultivating tenants, James the Fifth's assedations are fuller 
and far more interesting than those of his predecessors.. The 
system he tried to establish was gradually abandoned after 
his death, and the feu-ferme charters of his father were also, in 
course of time, converted as a rule into free barony charters. 

After James the Fifth's Death. 

When James died, the administrative machinery was so well 
organised and firmly fixed that it worked on without a jar. 
Arran, the next heir to the throne after baby Mary, was the 
natural guardian, or ' tainistear,' of the realm, while the Queen- 
Dowager was as naturally the guardian of her child. So to the 
next heir and to the Queen-Dowager their separate duties were 
eiitrusted. Genial, oscillating, easy-going Arran was scarcely the 

The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. 229 

right man in the right place diiring the troublesome times in 
which his governorship happened to be cast. The QueeSn- 
Dowager, as a wife and mother, was an admirable woman ; but 
in affairs of State, while she shewed herself possessed of the ruling 
capacity of her remarkable family, she also proved that she shared 
likewise in their unfathomable guile; unfathomable indeed to 
their own generation, but quite intelligible now. The moment 
Henry the Eighth heard of his nephew of Scotland's death he 
claimed roughly the infant Mary as a bride for his son Edward, 
and when Mary of Guise and Cardinal Beaton joined forces to 
thwart his project and to keep Scotland boimd down to the 
French alliance, bluff Harry was foolish enough to go to war 
with Scotland. The Engli^ invasions devastated the Border 
counties, while the escape of Donald Dubh of the Isles from 
Edinburgh Castle, after his forty years' imprisonment, gave Henry 
a Celtic ally of at least great temporary importance. But Donald 
Dubh's influence proved to be less than either Henry or himself 
before trial supposed it to be. James the Fourth and his son 
had so far effected a settlement of the island and mainland for- 
feited estates of the Lords of the Isles, by giving their vassals 
feudal Crown charters, that the restoration of the old regime had 
been made next to impossible. Tlie Clan Donald chieftains 
themselves did not strive with imited will and resolution to re- 
estabUsh the Principality of the Isles. The Donald Dubh 
episode, which was imsuccessful almost from the beginning, quickly 
terminated by Donald's death in Ireland. There are few direct 
references to Donald Dubh and the rebellion in this 18th volume 
of the Exchequer Rolls, although there are many concerning 
sequelae of previous Clan Donald forfeitures. 

In this volume, the Isles, which were so very prominent in 
previous ones, almost vanish out of sight, either because they 
fairly well preserved the order the King of the Commons had 
estabhshed in them, or because Arran, beset with greater cares, 
and constitutionally neghgent, let them stew in their own juice. 
The issuing of Commissions of Justiciary to local potentates indi- 
cates the increase of disorder on the Highland mainlands, although 
they were beyond the scope of the invasions which devasted the 
southern counties, and also the weakness of the central authority, 
even before the ecclesiastical leaven introduced a new ferment. 
Two of these Commissions correct both the disputed dates, 1536 
and 1556, of the storming of the Castle of Borwe in Sutherland. 
The first of these — dated Edinburgh, 17th August, 1554 — em- 
powers Hugh Kennedy of Girvane Mains, Knight, to try all 

230 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

thieves, somars, and fire-raisers, within the dioceses of Ross and 
Caithness, as well in town as in country, and all the aiders and 
abettors of the rebel Y. M'Kay. The second — dated 4th October, 
1554 — empowers John, Earl of Sutherland, and Sir Hugh Ken- 
nedy, conjunctly and severally, to punish each and every person 
who delayed or stayed away from the army at the siege of the 
house of ' Boirrow/ The storming took place, no doubt, between 
tho two dates. The Sutherland affair was unlike the other dis- 
orders of the period ; for it was a war between a clan and a feudal 
magnat;e, which had come down from generation to generation. 
Y. M'Kay is the mode in which Lowland scribes phonetically 
corrupted Aoidh MacAoidh. But the corruption did not start 
with them. Aodh MacAoidh would have been the correct form 
in Gaelic, but it is evident that the Farr people had preferred the 
genitive to the nominative of their chief's name before 1554. In 
1851, the absence of John, Earl of Sutherland, in France, gave 
the Mackay chief a good chance, of which he fullv availed himself, 
for avenging oia clan wrongs ajnd grievances by invading and 
despoiling the earldom. He was summoned to a justiciary court 
at Inverness, and refused to attend. He was then outlawed, and 
the Earl of Sutherland and Sir Hugh Kennedy were authorised 
to raise the array of Sutherland and Ross to war with him — to 
pursue him with fire and sword would be the terms of their com- 
mission. He wisely decHned to meet them in open fight, and so 
they resolved to sit down to besiege his Castle of Borwe, which 
they took and levelled to the groim.d, after a short siege. 

We have searched in vain for any reference to the doings and 
" Justification " of Ewen Alanson of Lochiel, who is traditionally 
said to have been a great chief of cattle-lifters, and to have been 
executed at Elgin. Towards the end of James the Fifth's reign 
he could not have been an outlaw, for he then got sasine of lands 
which are Lochiel lands to the present day. Huntly's commission 
ordinarily invested him with all sorts of functions, but the Ex- 
chequer Rolls throw no light on his proceedings in Badenoch and 
Lochaber during the regency period. Had there not been a long 
suspension of the Gordjon power after the escape of King James 
from the Douglaaes? We find that on the 16th of April, 1554, 
the Sheriff (rf Inverness has to account, through a sasine given to 
George, Earl of Huntly, for £3 4s, for rents of the Castle and 
<}astle-place of Inverlochy, with its ancient bounds, moa.ts, ponds, 
closes, and lawn — ' lie grene ' — which through non-entry had been 
previously in the hands of the Queen and her late father for the 
space of thirty-one years, and for 2d by dupUcation of blench rent. 

The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. 231 


The Castle of Inverlochy was, of coursfe, like tloB Castle of Inver- 
ness, held by the Gordons on terms and tenures entirely different 
from those on which they held their landed estates. 

Dingwall Castle and Conon Fishery. 

George Munro of Dalgardy figures rather prominently in Queen 
Mary's time as Chamberlain of Koss and Ardmannach, Captain 
of the Castle of Dingwall, and Custumar of Inverness, Ross, 
Sutherland, and Caithness. He is styled " of Delcartie " in the 
Rolls, but when he signed an obligation to pay up arrears in 1565, 
he designated himself " George Munro of Dawachcarte." He 
gives the same " with my hand " signature on a similar occasion 
in 1566. No doubt, Dawach Carte was the true old name of his 
place, but whoever could think that * Dalcartie,' and still less 
' Dalgardy,' hailed from such a source? Although the fact is not 
expressly stated, we may safelv assume that the Chamberlain 
used Dingwall Castle as his official residence. A yearly payment 
is made for winning peats and stacking them in Dingwall Castle. 
In Sir William Murray of Tullibardin's 1567 acooimt, mention is 
made of £8 13s 4d spent on " * burdis ' chains, bars, and other 
necessaries " for the new gate of Dingwall Castle. There could 
liave been no garrison, Hke Wishart's small garrison at Ruthven, 
for if there had been a garrison, however small, the keep and 
wages would have appeared in the accounts. Since peats formed 
the Chamberlain's sole fuel at Dingwall Castle, are we to infer that, 
in Queen Mary's time, that district, and all Easter Ross, indeed, 
were bare of wood ? That inference is undoubtedly borne out by 
many other indications. 

In the same account in which the expenses for the new door 
fo Dingwall Castle are given, we meet with a payment of 52/ by 
the Comptroller, for " the freight and transport of six barrels of 
salmon from Dingwall, in Ross, to the port of Findhome, In 
Moray, and thence to the port of •Leith." The fishings of the 
Conon beHonged to the Queen, and from the care taken of them, 
and the export of barrels to Leith, and use and sale of salmon at 
home, they must have been very productive. In 1565, John 
Wardlaw in Leith buys 16 barrels of salmon from the Queen's 
Conon fishery. We can see from the pa3anents made that the 
Conon fishing business was fully organised* To take one accoimt, 
that of 1561 — A mon£y fee of £3 6s 8d is paid to " a servitor 
called the kennare of the water of Conane for the keeping of the 
salmon of the Queen," and he also receives for his meat and 
drink — " pro suis esculentis et poculentis ' — 12 bolls of bear. The 

232 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

* kennare ' — ^probably ' oeann-aire ' spoiled — ^is a peannaiient ser- 
vant. In many of the account^ he is called ' Canar.' Another 
permanent servant is the ' circinator,' or cooper, who in this 
account gets 40/ for his fee. A good deal of outlay is made on 
building cruives, and on cobbles, &c. 

Queen Mary at Inverness and in Badenoch. 

In his account for 1563, the Comptroller, Sir John Wischart 
(or Wishart) of Pitarro, takes credit tor expending on the house 
and household (" domo et familia ") of our Lady the Queen, during 
the time of her residence within the burgh of Inverness, in the 
month of September, in the year 1562, 28 wedders and 36 capons. 
The other food and drink supphes, which, we may assume, were 
on the same Uberal scale, were probably bought by the household 
officials in the open market. 

In Badenoch, a saying has come down that " Bad Queen Mary 
burned the woods of that district. As to the burning of the 
woods, we cannor say, but the li^th volume of the Exchequer Rolls 
proves bayond dispute that, in her expedition against Huntly^ 
Queen Mary did go to Badenoch, and spent at least some days 
there — clearly at Ruthven. Immediately on the heels of the 
battle of Corrichie, mihtary occupation was taken of the lands of 
the Gordons. After the gruesome trial, condemnation, and for- 
feiture of the dead Earl, in Edinburgh, Wischart or Wishart of 
Cambeg was appointed Chamberlain of the forfeited lands. In 
this volume, he renders three separate accounts of his intro- 
missions as Chamberlain of Badenoch, Chamberlain of Lochaber, 
and Chamberlain of Strathdee, Braemar, and Cromar. Wishart's 
Badenoch account, which was not audited until 1567, is for three 
terms, beginning 1st February, 1562-3, and ending 1st July, 1564. 
One of the items in it is an expediture of £40 16s 8d on the pur- 
chase of 44 wedders, 3 marts, and 8 lambs for the Queen and her 
household at the time of her residence in Badenoch. Her resi- 
dence there must have been at Ruthvn Castle, which she enjoined 
Wishart to occupy and garrison for her. He only paid for a 
garrison of six servants, but the place itself was strong, and with 
" great fettir lokkis, paddo lokkis, and stok lokkis," and gun- 
powder (' pulvere bumbardino ') from Edinburgh, he was safe 
enough, and to thieves and rebels formidable enough, since the 
Laird of Grant and The Mackintosh, and even the chief vassals 
and tenants of Huntly, were all at his service. There may be 
some hint of the burning vengeance attributed to Queen Mary in 


Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch. 233- 

the fact recorded by Wishart that diiring the three terms of his 
account the lands of ' Ballakmoir were lying waste, and therefore 
paying no rent in produce, animals, or money. It is a hundred 
account the lands of ' Ballakmoir ' were lying waste, and therefore 
pities that this Lowland Chamberlain did not give a detailed 
of Badenoch and Lochaber in the reign of Queen Mary. 

17tk MARCH, 1898. 

There was a largely attended meeting this evening. Captain 
James Wilson Eraser of Balnaia. Stratherrick, was elected an 
ordinary member of the Society, after which Rev. Thos. Sin ton, 
E.C. Manse, Dores, read a valuable portion of his interesting 
contributions, entitled — ** Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch.'^ 
The paper was as follows : — 


Having arranged to give a further contribution of Gaelic 
poetry, under this famihar heading, to the Society during the cur- 
rent session, I was proceeding to collect such scraps and jottings as 
might answer my purpose, when, through the kindness of the 
Rev. Dr Forsyth, of Abemethy, there was put into my hands 
certain MSS. which came into his possession some years ago. 
They were in various hand-writings, and part of them had 
evidently been in existence since early in the century. 

Dr Forsyth having requested me to examine them, and 
allowed me to make any use of them I thought proper, I resolved 
to copy the greater part, so as to secure their preservation in 
the " Transactions " of the Gaelic Society. The verses now given 
were all, with the exception of "Crodh Chailein" and a few 
disjecta membra^ written down by the late Mr Donald Macrae, 
sometime resident at Aviemore. 

In these circumstances, I had thought of changing the 
designation of my paper, until I recollected that Kincardine and 
most of Duthil were in the lordship of Badenoch, when it seemed 
to me that the matter might be allowed to stand as it is — ^the 
poems being prefaced by this explanatory note. 

234 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

William Gow — better known as Uilleam Ruighe 'n Uidh — 
belonged to the district of Tulloch. The place from; which he 
redved his sobriquet occupies a lofty elevation on the rising 
shoulders of the Grampians. He was bom somewhere about 
1760 to 1770, and seems to have led a wild and unsettled hfe 
among the moimtain solitudes around Cairngorm. His 
escapades as a poacher form the subject of many of his verses, 
which reproduce very vividly the scenery, the associates, and the 
habits he was familiar with. Eventually he enlisted in 
the army, the restraints and routine of which must have been 
particularly irksome to the ex-hunter. As a soldier,, he served 
in the Peninsula, and, having s\iffered the terrible hardships 
attendant upon the retreat to Corunna, he contracted an illness 
from which he died shortly after arriving at Portsmouth. His 
poems, which I enumerate below, being, as one may say, of a 
biographical character, will demand few explanatory notes. 

, There has probably been no Gaelic song more popular during 
this century throughout Badenoch and Strathspey than "Allt 
an Lochain Uaine." A gun, presented to him by Colonel Grant 
of Rothiemurchus, William Gow often alludes to in his verses 
as "Nighean a' Choimeil." Addressing it here as a blooming 
maiden, he gives vent to his exulting feelings in this fine lyric, 
that comes to us like a pure invigorating breath of mountain air, 
and carries us in imagination to the wild, lonesome region 
between the valleys of the Spey and the Dee : — 

Aig Allt an Lochain Uaine, 

Gu'n robh mi uair a' tamh, 

'S ged bha 'n t-aite fuar, 

Bha 'n fhardach fuathasach blath; 

Ged thigeadh gaoth bho thuath orm. 

No cathadh luath bho 'n aird, 

Bha Allt an Lochain Uaine 

Le 'fhuaim 'g am chur gu pramh. 


Mo chaileag bhoidheach chuach-buidhe, 
Na biodh ort fuachd no greann ; 
Ged tha mi 'dol as m' eblas. 
Ma 's beo mi, thig mi ann ; 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch, 235 

'N uair 'bhios damh na croice 
Hi boilich anns a' ghleann, 
Cha tugainn bias do phoige, 
Air stor nan Innsean thall. 

'S mi 'comhnuidh anns a' ghleann, 

'Am bothan beag nan sgor, 

Far an cluinnt^ar boichdeal mhang; 

Shaoil leam gu'n cuala mi 

Fuax ghuth os mo cheann, 

Ag innseadh dhomh 'bhi seolta, 

Gu 'n robh an toir 's a! ghleann. 

Dh' eirich mi le bnaireadh, 

A's thog mi suas mo cheann ; 

Gach paidreag bha mu 'n cuairt domh 

Chuir mi mu 'm ghuaillnibh teann; 

Bha " Nigh'n a! Choimeil ' shuas bhuam, 

A choisinn buaidh 's gach am — 

" Ghaoil," thu'irt i, " na biodh gruaim ort, 

Ma 's ruaig e na bi mall." 

Shiubhail mi gach aonach, 
Bho Laoigh gu Cam-a'-Mhaim, 
A's bheachdaich mi gach caochan, 
Nach biodh daoine ann ; 
Ach mu 'n d' eirich grian, no 
Mu 'n d' fheuch i air aon bheann, 
Dh' aitlmich mi 's an uair, gu'n robh 
Am " Madadh Ruadh " 's a' ghleann. 

Labhair mi le ceill, 

Agus dh' eisd mi ris gach allt, 

Mar labhair iad ri cheile, 

A's iad gu leir gun chainnt ; 

Labhair mi ri m' XJachdaran, 

'Thug uisg* a cruas nam beann : 

Le comhnadh 'n Fhir 'chaidh cheusadh, 

Cha bhi mi fein 'am fang. 

I have thought it best to give this song without editorial 
•emendation of any sort, although several lines might be supplied 
jjH ^ smoother form from the only printed version with which I 
am familiar — that given by " Glenmore." 

236 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

This piece is worthy of a place as giving a gUmpse of the 
discomfitures and woes to which the sportsman was exposed : — 

'S muladach an-aoibhinn mi, 
'S gur beag mo speis do 'n ghunnaireachd, 
'S a huthad ceum a dh' fhalbh mi leat, 
Feadh sgaimaichean a's mhullaichean. 

'S gur diombach air an fhear ruadh sin mi, 
'S bu chruaidh nach d' rinn e fuireach rium, 
Gu'n chaith mi mo chuid brogan ris, 
'S thainig craicionn nam meur uile dhiom. 

'S na h-osanan bu daicheile, 
Gu'n d' fhalbh na sailean buileach asd', 
'S phaigh mi mo leth-chnin orra, 
'S iad iir 'n uair 'chuir mi umam iad. 

'S cha 'n fhaigh mi aon a chaireas iad, 
Gu'n ruig mi 'n taillear urramach, 
Ach seolaidh mi gu DbmhnuU iad, 
Bho 'n 's aithne dhomh-s' an duine sin. 

'S gheibh sinn suiceannan matha bana, 
Bho mo mhathair theid a chuinadh riuth'. 
Mar sin a's breidean salach, 
Snathainnean 's a h-uile rud. 

On the eve of an expedition to the Earl of Fife's forest in 
Braemar, our bard composed these triplets, partly to celebrate " 
recent foray in which he and his companion had engaged, and 
partly with reference to their immediate intentions. 

Moch air maduinn Di-mairt, 

Chaidh Tearlach an aird, 

'S mharbh e 'm boc ban mu 'm bu leir dhomh. 

Chuir e 'chas deth le luaidh, 

Gus na thuit e 'san uair, 

'S thainig Forsair an taobh shuas 's e 'g eigheachd. 

Thainig Tearlach an aird, 

'S a ghunna 'na laimh, 

'S cha robh srad innt' dheanadh sta no feum dhuinn. 

Snatches of Song Ool/ected in Badenoch. 237 

'S cha b' e Tearlach bha mall, 

'Dol a mach ris a/ diam, 

Leds na brogan bha fann 's a cheile. 

'S an am direadh a! chaim, 

'S a,' tighinn a staigh leis an allt, 

Bha agh langach nan eang fo chreuchd ann. 

Deoch-slainte nam fiadh, 
Bho 'n tha sinn a' triall, 
Gu talamh an larla mhoir. 

Gu Dughleannan fuar, 

Far am biodh am fear ruadh 

A dhireadh a suas an t-srbin : 

Gu Rothach Bhra'mharr — 

Gu Rothaoh gun ghras — 

Gu Rothach a' " Channsair " Mhoir. 

Perhaps the word " channsair " should read " chabhsair." 
Munro, alluded to here, was one of the Earl of Fife s foresj^rs. 


The ringing stanzas of this hunting song are full of interest. 
The bard was possessed with a marvellous enthusiasm for the 
chase, which no amount of hardBhip could damp — or freeze : — 

Och ! gur mi tha muladach, 
'S a' mhonadh 's mi leam fhein, 
'S mi bhi 'tamh an crodhan beag 
Bothain 'thog mi 'm fheum ; 
Cha robh spaid no tuagh agam. 
No ball mu 'n cuairt do m' laimh, 
Ach a' bhiodag laidir bharrachaol, 
'S ann leatha bhuain mi 'm fal. 

Tha na h-osanan air reothadh orm, 

Mu 'n teid a' cheothag suas, 

Tha gaoth a's cur a's cathadh ann, 

'S e gabhail domh 's a' chluais ; 

Aoh glacaidh mis' 'Bhan-Ghranndach so, 

A tha 'nam laimh 'a an uair, 

A's fadaidh is' an teine dhomh, 

Le fiidar sgeiroach cruaidh. 


238 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'N uair ni is' an teine dhomh, 
'S 'n uair theid a! chebthag suas, 
Tha bonnach anns aJ mhaileid, 
A's caise laidir cruaidh; 
Gu'n dean mi fhein mo shuipeir dhefth^ 
. 'S a rithisd theid mi 'm shuain ; 
'S 'n uair dh' eireas mi 's a! mhaduinn, 
Air a! Ghlas-allt bheir mi ruaig. 

'S mur faigh mi anns a! Ghlas-allt, 
Na fir aigeannach tha bhuam, 
Ma ruigeas mi an Diighleannan, 
A's braigh nan stiic tha shuas; 
Siridh mi gu cothromach 
Gach ooire dhiubh a's bruach, 
'S cha chuir mi as a h-aon diubh, 
Ma dh' fhaodas le gaoth-chuairt. 

'S ma bhios an oidhch' gle amharra^ 
'S gu'm bi'dh mi air mo ruaig, 
Gu'n toir mi fhein a' chrothag orm, 
Bha agam anns a' bhruaich; 
'S ged bhiodh cur a's cathadh ann, 
'S e 'gabhail domh bho thuath, 
Cha churam domh gu latha, 
Ged chaidHnn ann gle shuain. 

'N uair 'dh' eireas mi 's a' mhaduinn, 
As an lag 's am beil mo shuain, 
Gu'n toir mi fhein am brudhach orm, 
'S gach uidheam orm mu'n cuairt ; 
Siridh mi gu cothromach 
Na bealaichean mu'n cuairt, 
'S gu'm faic mi na daimh chabarach, 
Air leaoainn Meall-nan-tJan. 

'S ma gheibh mi anns a' choire iad, 

Gim 'chebthag thighinn mu 'n cuairt, 

Ealaidh mi gu dichioUach, 

Mu 'n gabh a h-aon diubh 'n ruaig; 

Gu'n cuir mi air an t-socair i, 

Mu 'n las am f fidar-cluais, 

'S gur fada chluinntear 'ghleadhair, 

Bhioe air goile an daimh ruaidh. 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch. 23» 

'N uair gheibh. es aa gleadhair ud, 
'S a theid a spleadhan suas, 
Ruithidb mi gu dichiollach, 
Mu 'n teid e rithisd 'na luath's ; 
Bheir lamJi air a' bhiodaig, 
A tha air crios 's an truaiU, 
'S gu'n smal mi sios gu carraig i, 
An amhaich an daimh ruaidh. 

An sin an uair a shruthas e — 

An fhuil tha ruith. gu luath, 

Tha sgianag laghach bhiorach agam, 

Leigeas 'mhionach air a' bhruaich; 

'S 'n uair 'gheibh mi ann am bhreacan e, 

Gu'n teid mi ritKisd 's an ruaig, 

'S cha ghabh mi fhein bonn eagail, 

Mur tig milleadh air mo luath's. 

'S 'n am tarruing thun an fheasgair, 
Am bidh na fleasgaich 'dol mu'n cuairt, 
An Rothach a's Mac Coinnich 
Na fir ghoilleach 'g nach 'eil truas ; 
'S mithich dhomh-sa tairsinn as 
An aros sin gu luath, 
'S gu'n toir mi braigh nan stucan orm, 
'S cha chiiram dhomh o thuath. 

'S 'n uair shuidheas mi air socair, 
'S gun dosguinn bhi ri luaidh, 
Bheir mi lamh air Botal 
Tha f o 'n t-sop am bun na bruaich ; 
'S ma thachras do na companaich, 
Bhi laimh riimi anns an uair — 
Lord Fife a's damh na croice — 
An deoch-slainte theid mu 'n cuairt. 

Mackenzie, mentioned in the second last verse along with 
Munro, was another of Lord Fife's foresters, who had given Gow 
many an unquiet hour. 

^40 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


" Oran Cam b! Mhaim " used to divide poptdar favour with 
*' AUt an Lochan Uaine " itself. I remember to have heard both 
sung very sweetly by the late Mr WiUiam Kennedy, Newtonmore. 
The elegiac references, here and elsewhere, to Colonel William 
Grant (rf Rothiemurchus, and to his nephew, Captain William, 
are most touching, and of rare beauty. It will be noticed that in 
this song he calls his g^un " Nic-Alpein " — ^the explanation being 
that Mac Alpein was the patronymic of the laird of Rothie- 
murchus, who had presented it to him. Occasionally he alludes 
to it as " a' Bhan-Granndach." 

A righ ! gur muladach mi 
Anns b! mhunadh leam fhin, 
Thainig uisge orm, dil', is ceo. 

'S mi 'bhi 'm bun Cam a' Mhaim, 
Far nach b' abhaist 'bhi gann. 
Fir chabrach nan eang 's nan croc. 

'S mi 'bhi 'm bun Cam a' Mhaim, etc. 

Na fir eaganta luath. 

Air nach beireadh fear truagh 

'N uair a dhireadh iad suas an t-sroin : 

Leam bu mhiann 'bhi 'nan deigh. 
Seal mu 'n eireadh a! ghrein, 
Le Nic-Ailpein bho 'n geura pog. 

'Nuair a chumainn i riii, 
'S i nach mealladh mo shuil, 
'N uair a lasadh am fudar gorm. 

Gur e Coimeal an aigh. 
Thug i mach as an stall, 
Ged a tha e 'n diugh marbh fo 'n fhoid. 

Coimeal Uilleam an aigh, 

Cas a dhireadh nan (».m, 

Dha 'm bu diithchas 'bhi ann 's bu choir. 

'N uair a rachadh thu 'n bheinn, 

'S do ghillean 'ad dheigh, 

Bhiodh mac cabraich an fh^idh fo leon. 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch. 241 

'S 'n uair a bhiodh tu air sliabh, 
S tu gleidheadh nan emi, 
S tu gu'n leagadh dhetli sgiath chum febir. 

'S i do cha^ a bha luath, 

'S do lamh a bha cruaidh 

'N uair a tharlaxih thu n niaig na n toir. 

Bu tu 'n t-iasgair air Spe 
Le do mhorgha caol geur, 
'S bhiodh do ghillean a' gieusadli leois. 

'S tha d' oighre san uir, 

Ann an cruidse an Duin, 

Caiptean Uilleam mo ruin 's cha bheo. 

'S ann a chaill mi mo chu], 

Bho n la chaidh thu 'san uir, 

'N uair theid m' eigheachd gu cuiii: no mod. 

Tha do mhathair gheal fein, 

Trom duihch 'nad dlieigh, 

'S tha d' athair gun fheiun fo bhron. 


In this ditty the bard refers to Macgregor, who was well 
known in his day as a man of kindred spirit : — 

Mi mo shuidhe so nochd, 

'An Coire Ruairidh nan cnoc, 

Tha mi sgith agus rag 's mi 'g eiridh. 

Tri latha dhomh n ceo, 

A' siubhal nan sgor, 

'S cha d' fhag mi fo leon mac eild' ann. 

Gu m beil fbrsairean Mharr, 

Air gach ooire 'n an geard, 

'G aan mag' anns gach ait' an teid mi. 

Tha fear edle 's an niaig, 
. Deagh Mhae Ghriogair nam, buadh, 
Dha 'm math thig gunna 's crios guaill', 
Agus biodag de 'n chruaidh air 'fheile. 


242 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

'S 'n am 'tighinn dachaidh bho d' spors, 

'S tu bhi d' shuidh' 's an taigh-osd', 

Gu 'm biodh botul air bord 'g a eigheachd. 

'S na 'n tiginn-s' 'n ad choir, 
Air naile, gheibhinn de obir, 
Gar am biodh e chor bonn feum' dhomli. 


Like many young Highlanders, Uilleam Ruighe 'n Uidhe had 
swred in the Fencibles before joining the army. He ocMnposed 
the subjoined verses in Egypt : — 

Cha bhi mi ri tuireadh, 
Hi mi-gheaoi no mulad, 
Cha 'n e siubhal a' mhunaidh ni feimi dhomh. 

Ghabh mi m' chead de na beanntan, 

Dheth gach coille agus alltan, 

Far am biodh na daimh ghreannar 's iad ceir-ghaal. 

Thug mi tamull as m' oige 

Greis an armailt Righ Debrsa, 

'S theid mi rithist le m' dheoin ann gun euslain'. 

'S ma tha 'n dan domh thighinn dachaidh, 

Gu'm bi hiathas 'am chasan, 

Bheir mi sgriob le Nic-Ailpein 'g am feuchainn. 

A Dhubh-ghleannan an aonaich ! 

Far an trie bha mi m' aonar, 

Far am biodh na daimh chraobh-dhftirg 's iad oeir-gheal. 

'S air teaohd do 'n mhaduinn, 

Learn bu mhiannach bhi aca., 

'N uair a bhiodh Nic-Ailpein 'an gleusadh. 

'S bhiodh na biodagan rtiisgte 

Dol a phronnadh na rudain, 

Gus na h-ealachain a' ghiiilan gun eislean. 

'S ann a dh' ionnsuidh na laire, 

'S trie a dhirich an Lairig, 

'S cha 'n fhacas riamh sas ann am feith i. 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch. 243 

'S oha bu Tearlach bu taire, 

'N am teannach' na laire, 

Gu'm biodh teadhraichean laidir 'g an deuchainn. 

'S a liuthad damh crocach, 

Air a cheangal le oorcach, 

Thug i dhachaidh gu ordugh Shir Seumas. 

'S ma tha 'n dan domh thighinn dachaidh, 

'S gu'n dean mi fein beartas, 

Gheibh Tearlach bhuam seacaid a's feile. 

'S gar an d' fhaod mi bhi lamh ribh, 

Bi'dh. mi 'g ol nur deoch-slainte, 

Ged a ckuir iad air sal mi do 'n Eiphit. 

Charles and his mare, whose virtues are celebrated above, 
were often of service to Gow in carrying home the spoils of the 


It is not a little remarkable that one who led the rough life 
of a professional poacher should be possessed of a vein of such 
tender feeling as is evinced in this elegy, wherein he bewails the 
death of his friends and patrons. No less was he of keen 
sensibilities to the varied effects of nature. 

An diugh 's mor mo chilis iarguum, 
'S mi bhi 'cuimhneach nur fialachd, 
Thug nur mulad da thrian de m' threoir dhiom. 

Do 'n mhonadh cha teid mi, 

Bho nach fhaic mi sibh fhein ann, 

Cha dean e ach deuchainn a's bron domh. 

Cha teid mi Choire Ruairidh, 

Bho nach tig iad 'g am ghluasad, 

Na fir churant' bhiodh a' ruaig nan damh crocach. 

Bho nach faic mi a' tighinn, 
Luchd a thogail mo chridhe, 
Dheanadh lamhach air sithionn nam mor-bheann. 

'S beag an ioghnadh mi liathadh, 

Gu'm beU mulad ro chianail, 

Bho cheann da fhichead bhadhna agus corr orm. 

244 Gaelio Society of Inverness. 

Bho 'n chaidJi Uilleam a null bhuainn, 

Air chuan nan txDiin dubli-ghorm, 

Dh' fhag sud acain g am chiurradh an obmhnaidh. 

Bho nach d' thamiij: thu dhaoliaidh, 

Thabhaii-t sgeul mar a b" ait leinn, 

'S a thabhairt ruaig air fir chabraioh nam mi6r-bl^t»«n. 

'S an am dhut direadh nan stuchdan, 

'S giinna gleusd' air do ghiiilan, 

Gu'm biodh piidhar air iidlaioh' na croioe. 

Bhiodb do luaidh. air an. giulan, 

Le Nic-Ailpein g a stiuradli, 

'S fuil an oridhe n^, split air a* mliointeach. 

'S 'n uair a ckniinn'cheadh Sii' Semnas, 
A chuid ghaisgeach ri cheUe, 
* Fhuair thu 'n t-urram air tlu'euiiad 's adr bhoi'chead. 

Suil ghorm mar an dearcaig, 

Gruaidh dhearg mar an corcui\ 

Beul a's binne s as blasd' bho *n tig bran. 

'S mor mo mhulad a's m' euslain' 
Bho 'n a dhealaich thu fein rium, 
'S bho n a thaisg iad an ceise nam bord thu. 

'S tha mo mhulad 'fas dubailt', 
Bho 'n ohaidh Luthais a dhunadh, 
Ann an oiste fo 'n iiir s e gun deb ann. 

'Na shineadh 's a' ohlachan, 

Far nach dean mi 'chaoidh fhaicinn 

Dh' fhag sud euslain 'each m' aigne 's cha nebnach. 

'S a liuthad oidhohe agus maduinn, 

Sinn gun sgios no gun au'sneal, 

Ann am frith nan damli bras bha sinn obmhla. 

'Am Beann na Bruaich 's Coire Ruairidh, 

Agus Dubh-ghleannan gruamaoh, 

Far am faighteadh fear ruadh a' chinn chrbcaich. 

'S an am direadh na Lairig' 

Cha 'n fhacas riamh barr ort, 

'Del a shealg a Ghleann-Aithfhinn nam mbr-bhefinn. 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenqch. 245 

'S beir an t-soraidh so bhuam-sa, 
Gu biHi Meall-a'-BhuachaiU', 

Dh' fhios nan treun-ghaisgeach chniaidh th' ann aJ 

Sliochd nan connspuUach gleusda, 

Mu an d' aithris mi sgenla, 

Gur ait as gur eibhinn learn beb iad. 

'S mor m' aiteas 'bhi luaidh air, 
Sibh 'thoirt dachaidh an dualchais, 
Cha phrabairean tmagha na seoid ud. 

Ge b' e tliaimeadh nur feusag, 

Agus fearg oirbh eiridJi, 

Cha b' uilear dha leigh 'bhi 'g a chomhnadh. 

Luchd a dhireadh na sleibhtean, 

Le an cuilbheire gleusda, 

Nach mearachdaich lenda na h-6irlich'. 

'N am dhnibh crasga nam fuar-bheann, 
'S a thighinn dluth do n ghreigh uallaich, 
Gum biodh fuil an fhir ruaidh air a' dortadh. 

'N uair a theannadh sibh dliitH air, 

'S a chaogadh sibh an t-siiil ris, 

Gu'm bu ghoirid an tiin' a bhiodh beo aig . 

'N uair a thaimeadh sibh 'n riidan, 

'S a loisgeadh am fudar, 

Bhiodh an anail a' bruchdadh mar cheb as. 


An Ode to Grant of Tulloch-Iochdarach. 

Gu ma slan do 'n Gh'ranndach so, 

A dh' eigh 's a phaidh an dram so dhuiim ; 

■ S ge b' e tharladh campaid as, 

Bu chinnt' a cheann-sa leoint'. 

Cha 'n 'eil e anns na bacaibh so. 
No eadar an da chachalaig, 
A chumadh riut-sa baiteal, 
Ach am bata bhi n ad dhom. 


246 Gaelic Society of Inuerness 

'S e Granndach Thiilaich-iochdarach, 
An t-bgan laghach, ciallach sin ; 
Cha 'n fhacas riamh bonn fifruamain oct^ 
No stupan crion air d' bhord. 

'N uair Vachadh thu na mhunadh, 
A's a bheireadh tnu do ghiinna leat, 
Bhitheadh feidh nam mullaichean, 
'G am fhuran mu do bhord. 

An tarmachan cha diobradh thu, 
Air stacan no air sgriodan, 
'N uair tharladh thu sinte ris, 
'S cuilbheir caol 'n ad dhom. 

'S cha 'n 'eil e anns an duthaich, 
A chunntadh riut-sa cruintean, 
'S gur lionmhor caileag shugach, 
A liibadh leis an 6g. 

Gut lionmhor 'an Dim-eidinn iad, 
A's sdoda a's srol-eideadh orra, 
A raohadh leat-s' a dh' Eirinn, 
'S a threigeadh na bheil beo. 

'N uair theid thu ann do bhreaghachas, 
Bi'dh Baintigheaman 'g ad mhiannaohadh, 
A h-uile te dhiubh briathrachadh, 
'* A chiall ! am beil e pbsd'." 


A Doleful Ditty. 

High ! gur mor mo chuid ohuraim, 
'S mi bhi 'm btithaig na Lairce ; 
Tha 'n t-msg orm air drudhadh, 
'S mi io stucan nan Ard-bheann. 

Gu Bheil am miidan math craicinn 
Air Nic-Ailpein ri fhasgadh. 

Gheibh mo bhrathair Nic-Ailpein 
'Nam achlais 's mi caillte 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch. 247 

Mar ri sud a's mo bhiodag, 
Laidir liosanach \sic\ bharrachaol. 

Cha dhirich mi bruthach, 
'S oha shiubhail mi cjarr. 

'S cha mharbh mi fiadh tuiUeadh 
Dhiubh 'an coire no 'n garbhlach. 

A Song of the Chase. 

Fhuair mi naidheachd an de 

Bho shealgair an fheidh, 

Chuir clach eadar mi fein 's mo bhrog. 

'S mi bhi 'n garbh-choire Dhe, 

Ann an aros an fheidh, 

Far an cuireamaid femn air Ion. 

Troimh sneachda nan speur, 

Seal mu 'n eirich a' ghrein, 

Air mo bhreacan 'ga fheileadh. orm. 

'N uair 'theid Mao-Ailpein do 'n Ghleann, 
'S Nighean an Tuaimir 'na laimb, 
Bi'dh fuil air damh seang na croic'. 

Trath 'shiubhlas Mac5-Aidh 

Le bhrod chu mor ban, 

Agus orith air a' bhrang 's e 'falbh. 

Gu 'm beil mulad orm fein, 
Naoh d' rinn sinn bonn feum'— 
6hualae langan an fheidh 'sa clieo. 

'N uair 'thig Mao-Ailpein bho 'n bheinn, 
'S 8 'na shuidh' 'san taigh-sheums', 
Aig a ghillean bhiodh biin ri ol. 

'N uair a thigeadh tu 'n Dun, 
Far an sruidheadh a' ohiiirt, 
Chluinnteadh simnd ann ad rum air oeol. 

248 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Bhiodh do chupachan Ian, 

'Cur suas deochan-slaint' 

Fion dubailt' bho *n Spainnt g aji 61. 

With this piece we must meanwhile bid farewell to Uilleam 
Ruighe n Uidhe. And, in doing so, we oannot avoid a feeling 
of regret for the untoward fate of cue so tiiio hearted and stout- 
limbed, and who was so richly endowed with the poetic tempera- 
ment. We owe a debt of gratitude, too, to the memory of the 
late Mr D. Macrae for tlie care and trouble he expended in 
writing down these songs. It is much to be desired that his 
son, the Rev. sJ. Macrae, B.D., minist-er of Lairg, wovdd publish 
the literary remains of one who was an excellent Gaelic scholar 
and an industrious oolle)ctor of Gaelic poetry and folklore. 


I do not know who was the author of tliis song, but we 
gather that he was a soldier acquainted with Spaniards, and on 
his way by transport to Kingsf ort, Goodhope : — 

Dh' fhalbh gach rud as an fhasan, 

A chuireadh tlachd air gill' 6g, 

Bho na thai nig a chasag, 

Stocainn fada 's ad mhor. 

'S olc thig sid ann an aite 

Nan osanan gearra 's nan gartanan sgarlaid, 

A's feileadh ard mu n ghliin, 

Agus crios mu 'n gualainn 

Naoh teid fhuasgladh gun chrun ; 

Claidheamh caol an dea^h fhaobhair, 

A's tri chlaisean 'na chul; 

Air a dheanamh gu direadi, 

De 'n fhior chruaidh ghlan chinn teach', 

'S geda lubadh cha diobradh 

'S 8 ur geiu" fallain gorm ; — 

Paidhir dhagachan dealbhach, 

Bu neo-chearbach an am gleois ; 

Biodag chaol na coise carraigeich' 

B' e sid an amaachd gill' 6g, 

Chunnaic mise gach arm dhiubh, 

'S mi 'nam bhalachan beag og, 

Aig fir ghasda na h-Alba mu 'n deach' am meanmna a leon. 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch. 249 

'S na rachadh casg air aai luaidhe 

Cha 'n fhaigheadh Sasunnach buaidh oirbh, 

Ann an aobhar cho crnaidhe ri dliol a bhualadh na.n doni, 

Ach bhon fliuair iad lamh-an-uachdar, 

Chnir iad fuadach bochd truagh oirnn, 

'Bhi 'gar ciu* as an Riogliadid, 

Gu laiig Kiiigf ort, Goodhope ; — 

Gu gearasdan laidir, bloigli craige mar fhardach, 

" Black dogs ' air son paidheadh, as burn sail ann ri ol. 

'S math thig sid do no Spainntich a fhuair an arach leis 6g ; 

'S ann is coltaiche n craicionn ri leathar cairtidh nam brog. 

Ach 's ann fliuair sinne ar n-arach 

Anns na fuar bheannaibh arda, 

Far an lionmhor damh croiceach 

Is airde thogadh a shron, 

Agus bradan air linne ; — gearr bho innis nam bo : 

Far an lionmhor guth araich ag eisdeachd galaich al og, 

Far 'm bi'dh chloinn nighinn is dreachmhoire, 

Theid nan aodach 's 'nan casbheairt, 

Suil is guirme na 'n dearcag, gruaidh dhreachmhor mar fob. 

Car son naoh deanamaid fui reach mar rinn iomadh fear 

romhainn — 
Air son aonta thri bliadhna, cha 'n fhag e hath fear bhios 

The measures in which these verses are cast seem to be 
superior to any ordinaay rules of prosody. 

This breezy hunting song was composed by a brother of 
Colonel John Roy Stewart's : — 

Hu-ill ho, cha 'n 'eil mi muladach, 
'S a' ghaoth a bharr nam mulaichean ; 
'S ma bhios an turadh ann Di-luain, 
Gur luath bheir mi am monadh orm. 

Cha dean mi fiadhachd tuille dhoibh, 
Cha lion mi 'm bliadhn' na cumain doibh ; 
'S ma theid mi null, cha tig mi nail, 
S cha chuir sibh 'am fang tuille mi. 

250 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S a Chaluim, 's faon do bharail dhut, 
Bhi dol ri gleann a's gaiUionn ann ; 
Le meud an t-sneachda 's tu gun bhrogan, 
Cha ruig thu ri d' bheo gun mheileachadh. 

B' fhearr dhut tamh 's na bacaibh so, 
'An coille dhluth 's 'am badanaibh ; 
Ri cur a's cathadh 's gaoth a tuath, 
'S ri reothadh fuar bi'dh fasgadh ann. 

'S ged dheanainn tamh 's na bacaibh so, 
'An coille dhluth 's 'am. badanaibh; 
Thigeadh tu le liib mu 'n cuairt, 
A's phaighinn duals an fhasgaidh dhut. 


Archibald Stewart — a. native of Glen-Avon, on the Duke of 
Gordon's property — ^had enlisted, and was abroad with his regi- 
ment — ^no doubt, the 92nd — when he composed the following 
ballad: — 

Beir an t-soraidh uam fein, 

Gu aros an fheidh 

Far an robh mi 'nan deigh 's mi og : 

Gu Beinn Athfhinn nan stiichd. 

Nam feadan 's nan liib, 

Far an loisgear am fiidar gorm. 

Seal mu 'n eireadh a' ghrian, 

Ged bhiodh sineachd air an t-sUabh, 

Chluinnteadh langan nam fiadh 'sa' cheb. 

Sud a' bhuidheann a b' fhailt' 

'Dol a dh' ionnsuidh parad, 

'S cha 'n iarradh sibh maidsear oirbh. 

Cha 'n iarradh sibh geard, 
Ach na creagaai a b' aird', 
'S cha bu diladhaire 'thaladh oirbh. 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch. 251 

Bu mhath fradharc ur siil 
'S b' fhurarach air ur ciil, 
'S gaoth fhiar nan stiichd m' nr sroin. 

'S bho na tharladh dhomh 'n drast' 

Gu bheil mi air Geard, 

Olaidh mi bhur deoch-slainte mu 'm falbh; 

Deoch-slainte mo dhuthch', 

'S nan gillean air thiis — 

Luchd a shiubhail nan stiichd-bheann garbh. 

'S 'n am dhomh ^suidhe 's taigh-osd', 

'Gabhail draiiia le doigh, 

Bi'dh 'n druma dhubh 'g ar n-6rduch' falbh. 

'S ged gheibh sinn riim agus bebir, 

A's fion dearg ann ri h-61, 

'S beag mo tlilachd de 'n phbit a bh ann. 

'S ma tharlas 'san am, 
Gun teid e 'nar ceaim, 
Tri cheud diubh gun taing ar duais. 

Cha b' e sud fasan mo dhiithch', 

'N am a^ bhuideal a' rusg, — 

'S iad a shuidheadh gun churam falbh. 

'S ged tha mo ghunn' air dheagh ghleus, 

Cha dean mi leath' feum, 

'S fada mi bho na feidh 'san am. 

Cha 'n fhaigh sinn coileach, no cearc, 

No tarmachan breac; 

Cha b' aros doibh ** Coast " na Fraing'. 

Ach na'm bithinn-s' mar chleachd, 
'An lonarloimhne nam breac, 
Gheibhteadh coileach a's cearc 'sa' ghleann ; 

Agus bradan math ban, 
'An Coire-Cheileir a! snamh. 
Air an trie thug mo lamh-sa toll. 

252 Gaelic SocietQ of Inuerness. 

'S nam bithinn-s mar bha 

Fo stiopall nan cam. 

Cha " mhuntaiginn ' geard ri m' bheo. 

Cha " mhuntaiginn ' geard, 

*S cha sheasainn parad, 

S cha n fliaicteadh gii brath, fhad s bu 

mhaireann mi slan, 
Cota madair ga cliaramh orm. 

Colonel John Roy Stewart was the author of thi» hunting- 
song. It is in the form of an ode to the laird of TuUoch : — 

Groae, a ghiuUa, 's bi gluasad, 

Air an uair 's na dean fuireadi, 

'S thoir soraidh n fhir ruaidh bhuam, 

Dh' ionnsuidh uaohdVan na Tulaich; 

Agus innis do 'n Tigheam 

Gu bheil mi 'feitheamh air cumant', 

Anns gaoh cas am bi feum air — 

'S an drast', ma theid e na mhunadh. 

Naile ! chimnaio mi uair thu, 
'S cha b' fhuathach leat gunna, 
Agus mudan air uachdar, 
'Dhol a chuairteachadh munaidh ; 
'S n uair a dheanadh tu sradadh, 
Air an leacainn bu luime, 
Bhiodh full air damh oabraoh, 
'N uair a leagadh tu d' uileann. 

Fhuair thu urram nan criochan-s' 

Air son iasgair a's sealgair, 

'S ma fhuair, gur tu b' fhiach e, 

Air son do ghniomh annjs an anmoch ; 

Bu leat tachdair na h-abhna, 

'S oach 'n an luidhe 'g a dearmad, 

'S oha bhiodh miann air na nmathan, 

Bho 'n 's tu d' am b' aithne a mharbhadh. 

Snatches of Song Collected in Bac/enoch. 253 

Calpa cniinn aim an osan 
'Shiubhladli faiche a's gaTbhlaoh, 
B' e do mhiann amis an flirith, 
Paidhir mhial-chon dearbhta', 
'S 'n uair a dheanadJi tu fuasgladh 
Air na omachan s an aaunoch, 
'S fada chluimiteadh do Langan, 
'G an cur 'n an deanal adi- falbh uat. 

'S 'n uair a dheanadli tu leagadh 

Ri luchd na«n seicheadia dearga, 

Bi'dh tu fein le do Spaint^ach. 

Ag iarraidh fath orr' s g an leanniliuinn ; 

'S ma 's e 's gu n teaain iad ort crasgadJi 

Leis na madaidh g an eari'-ruith, 

Caogaidli thu-sa 'n t-^il nxliaiseacU, 

'S air meud an astjair bi'dJi sealg leat. 

It wa^ with no ordinaiy pleasure that my eye fell upon this 
version of '' Crodh Chailein," the MS. of wliich bears that it was 
ta.ken down from recitation at Lub-nan-Damh. upwards of half a 
century ago. I had no hopes of ever seeing so many stanzas of 
tlie version of tliis ubiquitous and gi*and old pastoral, which was 
sung throughout Braemar, Badenoch, and Strathspey. We are 
gi'eatly indebted to Dr Forsyth for having preserved it : — 

Crodh Chailein, crodh Chailein, 
Crodh Chailein mo ghaoil, 
• Crodh riabhach breac ballach, 
Air dhath nan eun-fraoich. 

Tha aJ chailinn gun leannan, 
'S tha 'm balach gun mhnaoi, 
'S tha Sb bhuarach 's a' chuinneag, 
Anns a' mhunadh air chall. 

Hia Sk chaiUeach 's i bodhar, 
'S tha 'm bodach 's e cam, 

254 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

'S cha leir dhoibli n crodh 'bhleoghann 
Le ceo odhar nan earn. 

'S iad mo ghradh-sa crodh Chailein, 
'Bheir am bainn' air an fhraoch, 
Air mullach a' mhimaidh, 
Gun duine nan taobh. 

Air mullach a mhunaidh, 
Gun duine nan taobh, 
Le gogan gun bhuarach, 
Gun laogh'icin gun laogh. 

'S i bo Bean-an-taighe — 
Bo leathann dhubh liath ; 
Bo lionadh a' ghogain— 
'S bo thogail nan laogh. 

'S cha 'n eil leithid mo bha-sa, 
Ann am bathaich an righ, 
Cluinnear 'geum 'an Duneidinn, 
'S i fhein 'an Gleann-laoigh. 

'S n uair 'thigeadh am feasgar, 
'S am eadradh nan laogh, 
Gu'n tig mo ghaol dachaidh, 
'N deigh 'bhi eosgradh an fheidh. 

'S ge b' oil leis an fhorsair, 
'S geda chailleadh e 'chiall, 
Bi'dh mise 's mo leannan, 
Ann an gleannan nam fiadh. 

'Dol a ma<jh ri Gleann-Eidh, 
'S 'tigh'nn a staigh air Gleann-De, 
Bho ghleannan gu gleannan, 
Sior-leanail an fheidh. 

Cha ^n 'eil mo mhiann sithne, 
'N Gleann-Sith no 'n Gleann-De, 

Snatches of Song Collected in Badenoch. 255 

No idir 'n Gleann-Tatha, 

No 'n Garbh-choireachan-Dhe. 

Cha teid mi na Bheachan, 

No a ghleidheadh nan laogh, 

Bi'dh fear a' bhreacain chaoil chabhaich, 

'G am fheitheamh 'san fhraoch. 

The maiden who composed these verses is said to have 
engaged as dairymaid with an elderly couple, with whom she 
procseeded to the sheihngs. A son of her employers' fell in love 
with her; and this romantic attachment gave occasion to the 
song. According to tradition, Cailein was the name of the girl's 
master. Badenoch has a variant of its own upon this version of 
" Crodh Chailein," in which local pla-ce-names — such as Gleann 
Truim — ^are given. 

I may here be allowed to set down an addtional verse of the 
amusing lilt which will be found in a former contribution. It 
was recited in my hearing quite recently in Inverness by an old 
lady from Badenoch : — 

Bidh 'h-uile fear b! farraid rium, 
Tarraid am beil bean agam, 
'Farraid am beil bean agam, 

Is leine shalach ghnad' orm. 


AQ the remaining verses are from jottings by Dr Forsyth, 
and are well worthy of preservation. 

Eirich mu 'n eirich a' ghrian, 
SiubhaU dian mu 'n tig an teas, 
Ruig mullach a' Chuim-ghuirm, 
Far am faic thu thall is bhos. 

Chi mi poit a' Ghlinne-mhoir, 
Chi mi Bu-choinnich is Beag-ghleami, 
Chi mi Gleann Einich an fheidh. 
Far am biodh an spreidh air eadradh. 

256 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 


Th« " wieh reangach" alluded to here were the Scots Greys : 

Latha dlionih air cabh^:air Shasuinii, 
Faicinn fasaii nan each reangach, 
B' fhairr bhi air miillach na h-eileiraig. 
Fos cinn coille Rat^a'-mhurchais. 

I take it that the bard is here complaining of the changes 
wrought in the country under the operations of tiie York Build- 
ing Company : — 

Sud an gleannan riogliail f alia in, 

Anns am fanadh lan-damh ; 

Mo mhollachd do na phannal, 

Chuir thairis do bharraid. 

'N ait an cronan anns an doire, 

Gu farumach mar b' abhaist, 

"S e s beus dliuinn nis anns gach badan, 

Slachdamais Ghailda. 


These lines evince the same hatred of the English employees 
cf the Company — and of their tongue. They make sarcastic 
al'ubion to some conflagration which had broken out and dis- 
comfited the unwelcome despoilers of the Abernethy woods : — 

Soraidh slan do n t-searsonach, 
Chuir teas ri Cul-nar^coille, 
'S dh' fhuadaich mach na Sasunnaich 
A dh-iarraidh n leasach' bheurla; 

A dh' fhuadaich mach na Sasunnaich 
Thar mulladi Tom-nam-broilleag, 
'S a dh-imiis dhaibh nam pilleadh iad. 
Gum milleadh aims an staiug iad. 

Tempora mutant ar ! English is now the prevailing language 
in Bademoch and Strathspey, and the next generation can learn 
little of the ancient lore and poetry of the country, except 
through the medium of literature. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 257 

24th MARCH, 1898. 

At the meeting this evening Mr A. Macbain, M.A., read a 
paper by Mr J. L. Robertson, H.M.I.S., entitled " Ossianic 
Heroic Poetry." The paper, a spirited and interesting transla- 
tion of Dr Ludwig Chr. Stem's (Berhn) " Die Ossianischen Helden- 
lieder," an exhaustive and valuable work on the subject, was as 
follows : — 


A hundred and thirty years have gone by since the name 
" Ossian " reached us here. The credit of having made the world 
acquainted with the poetry of the son of Fingal belongs wholly to 
James Macpherson, a young divinity student from the Scottish 
Highlands, who, in Echnburgh, in 1760, imder the patronage of 
the celebrated literary critic Hugh Blair, pubHshed two poems, 
then fifteen, and in the second edition siKteen " Fragments/' trans- 
lated from the GaeHc or Erse into EngHsh — ^all of which were 
regarded as precious gems of lyric-epic poetry. The task of col- 
lecting more of this material, either from manuscripts or from 
the oral recitation of the Celtic inhabitants of the Scottish moun- 
tains and the Western Islands, and of translating this material 
from the Httle-known language in which they were embodied, was 
offered to many, but the accomplished young man completely 
gratified this honourable desire, for in 1762 he startled everyone 
with the pubhcation of a regular epic " Fingal," and in 1763 of an 
exactly similar work, " Temora " — both, as well a® a number of 
supplementary minor poetical pieces, being avowedly the com- 
position of Ossian, the son of Fingal, a Kin^ of Morven, in ancient 
Scotland, in the third century, and being faithfully translated 
from the Gaehc version. Indeed, there was appended to the last 
named volume a sample of the original text, the seventh book of 
" Temora," for the purpose of appeasing the doubts of inquisitive 

The stir that the " Poems of Ossian " made throughout Europe 
is too well known. No one suspected for a moment the existence 
of such an ancient and emotional body of poetry in that remote 
comer of the earth. The melancholy, " the joy of grief," which 
suffuses these poems accorded so well with the sentimental phase 
of intellectual activity which was predominant about the middle 
of the last century, while the quaintnesa of the poetical prose, its 


258 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

flowing style, so laconic, and yet so consonant with, the English, 
language, operated as a charm upon many. Far off the haxp of 
tbe Celtic Homer entranced the souls of mjen, and kept them long 
captive in a sweet captivity. 

" But why art thou sad, song of Frugal ? 
Why grows the cloud of thy soul? 
The chiefs of other times have departed ; 
They have gone without * their fame — 
The sons of future years shall pass by, 
And another race shall arise. ^ 

The people are hke the waves of the ocean : 
Like the leaves of woody Morven — 
They pass away in the rustling blast, 
And other leaves Hft their green heads. 
Did thy beauty last, O Ryno? 
Stood the strength of carbome Oscar? 
Fingal himself passed away. 
And the halls of his fathers forgot his steps ; 
And shall thou remain, aged bard. 
When the mighty have failed ? 
But my fame shall remain, 
And grow like the oak of Morven, 
Which lifts its head to the storm, 
And rejoices in the course of the storm." 1 

But there was no lack of critics, who refused to give any 
unqualified acceptance to the Ossianic poetry. A sombre mBlan- 
choly is the too dominant and favourite mood of the poems : a 
gloomy, mournful sky overhangs the desolate, though powerfully- 
drawn, landscape, and such is the prevailing monotony in the 
representations of nature which the " Cloud Poet " imf olds that 
they find a not inapt parallel in the changing scenes of a kaleido- 
scope or in the artificial patterns of a mosaic. While the poems 
of Ossian attempt to dispard the impossible and the trivial, in 
which the imagination of folk-poetry dehghts, they yet introduce 
a sentimentality and magnificence still less appropriate to the 
legendary story of the heroic time. All through the invention is 
poor, the execution vague: a certain youthful immaturity is 
perceptible, and the lack of variety and of due attention to details 
betray the inexperience of the composer. The figures of speech ^ 

* Dr Steyn has here loith instead of without. — Trans. 
^ Cf. Herder's Werke 16. 327, from "Berrathon." 

Ossianic Heroic Poetty. 259 

daring as they are, somebimea will not stand tha test of close 
examination. An odd and inoongmous use of words is very 
common, and tha general diction frequently descends from the 
affected characteristic grandiose level to the ridiculous. 2 More- 
over, echoes of Homer, Milton, the Hebrew Prophets, and other 
poets abound — a» fact to which Macpherson himself naively enough 
called attention, and which the incisive critical writings of the 
learned Malcolm Laing (1762-1819) have more emphatically and 
fully elucidated. The complete puerility of the Ossianic poesy 
had been characterised by Voltaire in 1770 in his scoffing remark 
that to compose Virgil was difficult, Ossian easy. 3 

But there was another count ia the indictment against the 
Ossianic poems. Their real basis is the preposterous theory that 
the Celtic Highlanders of Scotland are the descendants of the 
ancient Caledonians, whom the Romans, imder Caracalla, are 
said to have subdued in 208 a.d. This erroneous hypothesis 
David Malcolm — " the great author MacComb," ^ to whom Alex- 
ander ^acdonald in his beautiful verses in praise of the Gaelic 
language appeals — stoutly championed, and thereby flattered not 
a little the patriotic feeHng of his countrymen. According to 
Macpherson, Fingal was King of an ancient legendary Morveii. 
in the county of Argyll, in Scotland — ^though such a kingdom is 
absolutely unknown to other traditional accoimts, especially to 
those of Ireland, the motherland of the Scottish Gaels, and the 
chief seat of the Celtic race to the present day. Of this race, 
which, starting once on a time from its original Indo-Germanic 
home, penetrated farthest westwards of all, two branches, besides 
the Gauls in ancient France, have survived the centuries, viz., 
the Cymri in Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany (to whom probably 
the extinct people, the Picts, belonged), distinguished by Pro- 
fessor Rhys from a speciality of their dialect the " P-Celts," and 
the Gaels or Scots, the " Q-Celts," who took possession of Ireland 
and the Western Islands. Beda, it may be remarked, in his 
" Ecclesiastical History," chronicles the ta-adition that the Irish 
tribe from Ulster, the *' Dalreudini " or " Dail-Riada," emigrated 
about 500 A.D. to Argyle, north of the Firth of Clyde, and thus 
the Gaelic or Scottish nation was transplanted to Caledonia. To 

2 E.g., '* Thou dweller of battle" or " dweller of my thouRhts" (" Temora," 
p. 143) ; also '*a white-boHomed dweller between my arms" p. 120. In 1785 
the style of " Ossian" was grotesquely parodied in the " Edinburgh Magazine." 

2 Oeuvres Completes, edition Gamier Frftres, 17, 236. Also, W. Shaw 
(Inquiry 1781, p. 58) derides the mechanical in the Ossianic poetical method. 

* " 'S rdir Mhic-Comb, An t-ughdair m5r ri luaidh" (Alex. Macdonald). 

260 Gaelic Society of inuerness. 

this country tJiey gave not only the name of Scotland, but also 
sixty kings, from Fergus, the son of Ere, to Alexander III., 1286 
A.D. In Ireland, however, the civilisation of the Scots attained 
a marked development, and from early days this influence operated 
effectively in its transference to the Gaelic-speaking countries — 
that is, the Isle of Man, West of Scotland (Alba), and the 
Hebrides (Innse Gall, " the Isles of the Strangers," to wit, the 
Norwegians). The Gaelic language, nowadays generally called 
simply " Gaelic," is, as the Manx is, merely a dialect of the Irish 
tongue, and is accordingly najned in English " Erse." 5 In 
modem times these dialects have widely differentiated, but their 
early Hterature is one and the same, and the ancient mythical 
tales have, for the most part, had their oririn in the motherland. 
Fingal is a well-known heroic figure in this joint legendary lore, 
but he goes by the name of Finn or Fionn, and is Commander-in- 
Chief of the martial clan the Feinne or Fenians, under Cormac, 
the Overlord of Ireland in the middle of the third centiuy. 
Oschin, Oscar, and GoU are certainly in the Irish saga members 
of this warrior band ; but CuchuUin, to whom, according to Mao- 
pherson, Finn lends assistance, lived about the beginning of the 
Christian era, in the time of King Conchobar of Ulster. Again, 
Deirdri, the wife of the last-named, becomes in the poems of 
" Ossian," who calls her Darthula, a contemporary of Fingal, and 
is slain by the jealous Cairbre, and he was a successor of Cormac ! 
So goes on the endless distortion of the story. 6 It fares equally 
badly with geography in the poems of " Ossian ; " sounding nameb 
without any significance are all that Macpherson gives, and his 
practice is to shift the scene of the action almost always to Scot- 
land. This kind of treatment might be looked for in later poems 
that have lost the thread of the original tradition, but not so in 
such venerable relics of antiquity as the " Poems of Ossian " pri^ 
fessedly were.. Despite these objections, Macpherson gave out 
that he collected the " Poems " in the vernacular Gaelic — if and 
how far out of manuscript was never made clear — and that he 
translated them, indeed, word for word ; and he time and again 
remarked how strikingly expressive the original is in this or that 

• Mentioned by William Dunbar, circa. 1500, as " erische," 2, 41 ; " ersche," 
1, 53 ; and " erschry," 2, 69 (equals " Irishry." As the Irish language is also 
called Gaelic, I now and then use " Albanogaelic" for the special Scottish 

• Cf.; D'Arbois de lubainville, " La litterature ancienne de I'lrlande et 
rOssian de Macpherson," in the *' Biblioth^que de I'Ecole des Charles XLL," 
p. 475-87. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 261 

passage (e.g., Temora, p. 92 — Gaelic 5, 307 ff.), or that a certain 
passage liad been set to music, and that few could listen to it 
without tears (e.g., Cath-Loda I., 108 ff.). In his introductory 
and explanatory comments he continually extols the high anti- 
quity and excellence of his " Poems of Ossian," as compared with 
the trashy and nonsensical popular poetry which in Ireland 
affected the name of Ossian ; and he, a man who in the Library 
at Oxford could not make out one single line of a Gaelic manu- 
script only a few centuries old, treats contemptuously the learned 
Roderick O 'Flaherty and Dr Geoff ray Keating, the Livy of the 
Irish nation. Such was the imparalleled audacity with which he 
single-handed challenged the whole array of Old Irish scholarship. 

Now it is not surprising that the modest doubt which at first 
had been expressed here and there as to the authenticity of the 
" Poems of Ossian " soon took the form of rough denial, and that 
the temperate reserve adopted by many subsequently gave place 
to violent incrimination. David Hume, in 1763, had called for a 
strict investigation. An Irishman, probably the Abbot Connery, 
in the " Journal des S9avants," fully and strongly questioned the 
geunineness. The erudite Charles O'Connor of Belanagare criti- 
cised the poems in 1766 very bitterly, and Samuel Johnson, the 
lexicographer, in 1775 denied them any authenticity whatever, 
and maintained that Macpherson had merely abstracted names, 
incidents, and individual passages from Gaelic popular lays and 
amalgamated these with poetry of his own composition in order 
to pass off the whole product as the work of " Ossian." Though 
openly accused of imposition, Macpherson — who, as testified by 
Hume, a man of keen insight into human nature, was a strange 
and hererocHte mortal, than whom he scarce ever knew a man more 
perverse and unamiable — increased by his behaviour the ex- 
asperation of his opponents, and did nothing at all to provide the 
information so urgently requested. 

His countrymen took up the question, as they regarded their 
own honour as mixed up therewith, and vied in demonstrating the 
authenticity of the " Poems of Ossian " — a task that certainly was 
more the duty of their author than of others. 7 They asserted 

"^ Among the champions of "Ossian" may here be named : H. Blair, 1763 ; 
M. Cesarotti, 1763 ; J. Woodrow, 1771 ; J. G. Sulzer, 1771 ; Whitaker, 1773 ; 
Th. Warton, 1774 : H. Home, Lord Kaimes, 1775 ; W. Shaw, 1778 ; D. Mac- 
nieol, 1779 ; M. Dorat, 1780 ; J. Smith, 1780 ; J. Clark, 1782 ; J. L, 
Buchanan, 1793-94 ; L. W. Fliigge, 1796 ; Alex. Campbell, 17.^7 ; C. H. 
Schundenius, 1799 ; J. IMacdonald, 1802 ; J. Gurlitt, 1802 ; Mrs Grant. 
Laggau, 1803 ; Arch. Macdonald, 1805 ; P. Graham, 1807 ; Sir John Sinclair, 
1807 ; J. Grant, 1814 ; E. Maclachlan, 1818 ; H. and J. MacCallum, 1816 ; 

262 GaeliG Societii of Inverness. 

that Fingal and the Feinne had for centuries been famiHar names 
in Scotland, and that heroic poems like those published by Mac- 
pherson had been preserved among them from time immemorial 
by oral transmission from father to son. But these laboured and 
solemn declarations never went beyond generalities, and instead 
vi furnishing dear philological proofs as to how the matter stood, 
the disputants exhausted themselves in a resultless war of words. 
Nobody could point out a single folk-poem that verbally coincided 
with one of those " verbally transla.ted " by Macpherson. It is 
true that not infrequently lost manuscripts, sometimes in folio 
and sometimes in quarto, were spoken of, which someone years 
before had seen in the hands of this or that person, and which were 
alleged — ^to the best of recollection — to contain Ossianic poems ; 
but if such a trail were followed up it turned out that these 
inestimable documents had recently been used to kindle the fire 
or cut up to make tailors' measuring tapes. A tolerably 
impartial but rather inconclusive report which Henry Mackenzie, 
in the " Report of the Committee appointed to inquire into the 
nature and authenticity of the Poems of Ossian," made on the 
groimd of the rich matter of the poems in 1805 to the Highland 
Society of Scotland in Edinburgh, failed to establish more than a 
slight general relatioii between the " Poems of Ossian " and the 
written or orally preserved heroic poetry. Nor was he able to 
silence the adversaries. 8 

At the present day it is difficult to understand how men could 
have wrangled so interminably over such a question ajs the 

Alex. Macdonakl, 1820 : H. Campbell, 1822 ; J. Lyon, 1831 ; J. Reid, 1832 ; 
P. Macgregor, 1841 ; Clemen, 1854 ; Oswald, 1857 ; Thos. Maclauchlan, 1857 ; 
P. Macnaughton, 18«1 ; D. Campbell, 1862; J. F. Campbell, 1862; W. F. 
Skene, 1862 ; E. Waag, 1863 ; Th. PattisDii, 1866 ; Arch. M'Neil, 1868 ; A. 
Ebrard, 1868-70 ; Arch. Clerk, 1870 ; P. H. Waddell, 1875 ; J. St. Blackie, 
1876 ; C. S. Jerram, 1876 ; D. Mackinnon, 1877 ; Shairp, 1880 ; Ch. Stewart, 
1884 ; Alex. Macbain, 1884. The many translators of ** Ossian" who seem by 
this to be convinced of its genuineness I have not mentioned in the above list. 
* Doubt in the genuineness of the " Poems of Ossian" is met with in 1762 
in the ** Journal of Scavants," Nov., p. 724 ff. ; then follow in the same line 
the critic of 1764 and F. Warner, Ch. O'Conor, 1766-75 ; S. Johnson, 1775 i 
Sir James Foulis, W. Shaw, 1781-84 ; M. Laing, 1800-1805 ; Th. O'Flanagan, 
1808; Fink, 1811 ; Ch. O'Conor, d. J., 1814 ; Edw. Davies, 182.0 ; W. H. 
Drummond, 1831 ; Edw. O'Reilly, 1831 ; Talvj (Therese Ad. L. v. Jacob), 
1840; 0. Connellan, 1860; E. O'Curry, 1862 ; the ''Times," 1869 ; W. M. 
Hennessy, 1871 ; J. F. Campbell, 1872 ; St. H. O'Grady, 1880 ; Alex. Mac- 
bain, 1886 87 ; H. Maclean, 1887 ; Professor Mackinnon, 1890 ; Alf. Nutt, 
1890 : H. D'Arbois de Jabainville, 1892. Here, as in the foregoing note, only 
the most important names are given, for a complete Ossianic bibliography 
would of itself fill a volume. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry, 263 

Ossianic. Yet it is manifest that it oould not be settled on 
general literary considerations alone, but that a knowledge of the 
Irish-Gaelic language and poetry had to be a necessary equipment 
of a competent critic. The real point at issue was more the form 
than the matter, and it was indispensably necessary to examine 
and test the Gaelic originals of the Macpherson poems. Their 
apochryphal character oould not be convincingly estabHshed from 
the GaeHc version of the Book VII. of " Temora," which is the 
literal counterpart of the English version, however much the 
language of this piece must have puzzled philologists, for there 
was but a meagre supply of printed " Albanogaelic " literature in 
the middle of last century ; 9 and who, then, without a knowledge 
at least of the general history of the GaeHc language — material 
that was unobtainable even from the work of the very estimable 
Ed. Llwyd — and without a grammar or dictionary of the Scottish 
Gaelic, oould have argued that a dialect like that of the " Poems " 
could not possibly have existed in the earlier centuries ? 10 It is 
true that iJie secrecy and obscurity in which Macpherson invested 
the Gaelic " origirials " were calculated to shake the confidence of 
his most unbiassed and friendly critics. H Under various pre- 
texts he had withheld from the public these eagerly sought for 
linguistic monuments, though he alleged that he had once plaxsed 
them on view in a bookseller's shop for a period of six weeks. It 
is beyond doubt, however, that no one ever honoured them with 

* The first fifty Psalms, translated by the Synod of Argyll, were published 
in Glasgow in 1 659. This is the first book printed in Scottish Gaelic, and it 
is noteworthy that its Irish colouring is marked. 

^^ Alex Stewart, the grammarian of the "Albanogaelic" (1801), actually 
holds that the modern dialect is older than the ancient Irish, v. "Elements of 
Gaelic Grammar," p. 88. 

^^ In the " Gentleman's Magazine," XXX. (1760), p. 409, in reference to 
the " Fragments," occurred the following : — " As the original Erse is intended 
to be printed with some future edition of them, it will irrefragably prove 
their authenticity, which might otherwise be reasonably doubted. And in 
January, 1761, Macpherson writes to Maclagan that a Gaelic epic on Fingal 
has come into his hands— "I have some thoughts," he says, "of publishing 
the original, if it will not clog the work too much" (Report, app., p. 155). 
Before the first edition of Fingal in 1762, he likewise remarks — '• There is a 
design on foot to print the originals as soon as the translator shall have time 
to transcribe them for the press ; and if this publication shall not take place, 
copies will then be deposited in one of the public libraries, to prevent so 
ancient a monument of genfus from being lost." In 1763 a Gaelic specimen 
of the seventh Book of " Temora" appeared, with the declaration that further 
proofs were unnecessary, as the originals had long enough lain open to 
inspection. Maxjpherson's first intention was to print the Gaelic text in Greek 

264 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

an inspection. And that they were not exceptionable may be 
inferred from his intimatLon to a company who patriotically 
offered to bear the expense of publication that he had first of all 
to arrange the manuscripts. His death took place in 1796. He 
left behind him a manuscript, along with the means of putting it 
in tjpe; but we are quite ignorant of its nature, for the pub- 
lishers whom he nominated had it revised and transcribed by 
Th. Hoss, and, instead of depositing it in some pubHc library, 
they straightway destroyed it. Kob. Macfarlane turned it into 
Latin. So years went by, imtil at last, in 1807, the Gaelic poems 
of " Ossian " saw the light — forty-four years after the English 
version. This famous edition of the original texts contained 
about two-thirds of the English, and the eleven poems out of the 
twenty-two English for which no original was forthcoming may 
without scruple be ignored in the controversy as to the authenti- 
city. But the Gaelic " originals," with their abounding inherent 
inconsistencies, fail utterly to exculpate their Enghsh " trans- 
lator;" on the contrary, they entirely confirm the judgment of 
his most celebrated critics. Doubt, in fact, gives place to 

It is, in the next place, of great importance to the story of the 
genesis of the Gaelic originals to take notice of some fragments 
thereof which appeared earlier. The first of which we know is a 
piece from "Fingal" (3, 302-403, 497-514 of the later issue), 
attributed to the Rev. Mr Maciver, Lochalsh (ob. 1790). It was 
first published in 1814 by J. Grant in his " Origin and I)escent of 
the Gael " (p. 423, et seq.), and it shows an entire divergence from 
the " original " of 18j7. The episode is an incomplete outline of 
the corresponding passage in Macpherson's " Fingal" of 1762, 
and must be relegated to the year 1760 or 1761, as the " Garbh " 
of this fragment was named " Swaran " by Macpherson in 1762, 
and besides " Fionn," the form " Fionnghael," i.e., Fingal, 
appears. Probably Maciver was a friend and coadjutor of Mac- 

The second GaeUc original fragment was from the pen of 
Lauchlan Macpherson of Strathmashie (ob. 1767), a mediocre 
Gaelic poet. This specimen, describing the combat between Goll 
and Swaran, in " Fingal," 4, 259-76, some thoughtless friend com- 
municated in 1799 to the Highland Societv (Report, p. 32), for 
not a line of its text, the genuineness of which had already been 
disputed by Edward O'Reilly (Essay, p. 245) — Swaran and the 
Heath of Gormal being (James) Macpherson's — squares with the 
Gaelic "Ossian" of 1807. Macpherson, Strathmashie, was, it is 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 265 

likely, also the author of that other Gaelic piece, which, after 
being communicated to A. Gallie, was printed in tlie Keport 
(p. 143)- 

" A mhacain cheann 

Nan cursan srann 

Ard-leumnach righ nan sleagh," 

&c. 12 This poem is pretty Hterally rendered by Macpherson m 
" Fingal " (p. 56, ed. 1762 or 4, 299-310) as the " Battle Song of 
Ullin " — " Son of the chief of generous steeds ! high-bounding 
king of spears !" &c., and words like " Lamh threim 's gach cas " 
seem to be translated quite literally and with hardly any variation 
direct from the EngHsh. Don. Campbell, in his " Treatise on the 
Language, Poetry, and Music of the Highland Clans ' (Edin- 
burgh, 1862, p. 122), gives a very loose version professedly based 
on an orally transmitted version, but it is not more reliable than 
the English translation in the Gaelic " Ossian " of 1807, which 
hkewise, indeed, contains reminiscences of the actual original of 
the Report, though it otherwise is thoroughly in dis-accord there- 
with. This poem is in no sense ancient, for both the metre and 
even individual phrases are borrowed from the dirge on Rob Roy 
Maogregor — 

" Sar mharcach nach fann 

Air cursain nan srann 

Sredn mhaiseach na'n ceann b' e 't' aidhear e " 

(Stewart's Collection, p. 301 ; Menzies' " Comh-chruinneacha," p. 
256). According to an unsupported story, Macpherson, Strath- 
mashie, wa^ also the translator of the Gaelic version of the seventh 
book of " Temora " of 1763, but it need only be remarked that he 
at one time testified prominently to the authenticity of the Mac- 
pherson " Ossian," and that, to quote his own words, he found it 
rendered with astonishing fidelity. 

The third attempt to bring the Gaelic " Ossian " before the 
public was the " Dream of Malvina," a translation after the editio 
princeps of no special merit of the prologue of " Croma," pub- 
lished by W. Shaw in 1778, who at that time believed in the 
authenticity, in his " Analysis of the Gaelic Language," p. 157. 
This piece was afterwards greatlv amended and altered, especially 
in the " Ossian " of 1807, where Toscar, a manufactured name 
previously avoided, takes the place of Oscar. 

^^ Cf., Armstrong's Dictionary, ]). Ixvii. ; Logan in Mackenzie's ** Beauties 
of Gaelic Poetry," p. lii. ; L. MacV»ean, " Songs of the Gael," No. 16. 

266 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

The fourth attempt was Gillies's publication (Cb. 157a, and in 
the Keport app. p. 225) of Fingal's address to Oscar in " Fingal '' 
3, 246 et seq. This text differs word for word from that of 1807, 
and so also a piece *' Advice to Oscar/' of which, probably, D. 
Kennedy was the composer. But an older rendering of this frag- 
ment, along with the story of Faineasollis following thereon, 
turned up in Macpherson's posthumous papers, and was printed 
in the Society's edition of 1807 in the supplement 3, 486 — a fact 
that escaped the notice of the later editors of the Gaelic " Ossian," 
E. Maclachlan, Thos. Maclauchlan, and Arch. Clerk. Gillies's 
and Kennedy's texts, both text* in the edition — all disagree ! 

The fifth attempt is the short Hymn to the Sim in " Carrie- 
,thura," found first in an imperfectly assonated form in Irvine's 
Collection in 1801, and pubhshed for the first time in Alex, and 
D. Stewart's " Collection of the Highland Bards," p. 592. It 
does not differ much in the various texts, including that of 1807. 
But the fact that the sun, which in Gaelic, as in German, is of 
the feminine gender, is here addressed as " son of the sky," is of 
itself a serious obstacle to the recognition of this Gaelic text as a 
genuine original. Hymns to the sim, the moon, and the stars 
have no existence whatever in Gaelic literature outside Mac- 
pherson's own handiwork. 

The sixth attempt is the longer Hymn to the Sun in 
" Carthon," 334 et seq., which did not appear in print before the 
Stewarts in 1804, and is wanting in the " Ossdan " of 1807 ; 
although, however, Macpherson himself in 1771, in his work 
" Introduction to the History of Great Britain," p. 160, cites in 
an absurd derivation of the word ' grian ' (sun) the original of 
the hymn — a text, it should be noted, quite different from that of 
the later translation of 1804. 

The last effort before the final publication of the edition of 
1807 to circulate the original of " Ossian " is the poem " Conlath 
and Cuthona" of Irvine's Collection, about 1801, and printed 
with some emendations by the Stewarts in 1804. The diction is 
very climisy, and like that of the revised English version of 1773 ; 
while in the Gaelic edition of 1807 the improving hand of Eoss is 
easily detected. A rhymed metrical rendering of this poem 
appears m the " Celtic Magazine " II., 336 et seq., the contributor 
remarking that either the Gaehc thereof is older than the English, 
or that Macpherson was the most iucamate impostor and the 
most shameless and deliberate har who ever handled a pen. 

There was also published by the Stewarts in 1804 a poUshed 
versified translation of the Macpherson " Darthula," but this 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 267 

poem is not one of those whose originals came to light in 1807. 13 
The piece was also timied into Gaelic by the scholarly Donald 
Maopherson, whose beautiful Gaehc translation of the '' Songs of 
Selma " — which, it may be noted, are likewise wanting in the 
originals of 1807 — came out in the " Gaidheal " (5, 81 et seq.) in 

This edition (of 1807), issued in name of Jbhe Highland Society 
in all good faith under the direction of Sir John Sinclair, is only 
the full completion of the task begun in 1760, and so persever- 
ii-gly continued thereafter. Every linguistic scholar is now quite 
aware that suchlike epics and emotional poetry are not to be found 
elsewhere in ancient, mediseval, or modem Gaelic, although minor 
poems on the Ossianic mythical tales are to be met with in manu- 
scripts and partly in the form of oral recitation not only in Ire- 
land, but also in mainland Scotland and the Western Islands. 
Macpherson was well acquainted with this class of poetry, and 
made literal translations of detached passages, but it was ill his 
part to disown these as the sources of his own inspirations, and 
extremely rash of him to ridicule as trivial the similar Irish folk- 
ballads, and to characterise them as quite different from his own 
" Ossian." If one solitary line be excepted, not one stanza in the 
GaeUc " Ossian " of 1807, as John Francis Campbell demonstrated 
• in 1872, harmonises with the text of the ballads, and this is the 
case even in the literal translations from the Gaehc into EngHsh. 
For instance, in the ballad on the death of Oscar, when Fingal 
cries out over the body of his grandson, " Gu la brath chan eirich 
Oscar!" Maopherson renders this in his Temora" " But never 
more shall Oscar rise!" Yet in the GaeHc "Ossian" of 1807 
("Temora " 1, 297) we read, " Chan edrioh Oscar donn a chaoidh !" 
—a reproduction certainly of the thought, but not of the words of 
the ballad. Similarly in numberless other cases, which it would 

*' In the poem of the Brothers Stewart (Collection, p. 562 et seq.), 
reprinted and re-translated by Alex. Carmichael in the " Transactions of the 
Gaelic Society of Inverness," XV., 206-15, the ballad of Derdri is worked up 
into one with the Darthula of Macpherson, more than one-half being directly 
transferred from the latter. Strophe, 3 c. 6, corresponds with Macpherson's 
" Nathos is on the Deep " to " Who is it but Darthula, the First of Erin's 
Maids?" (p. 156, first edition, 1762)— further, Str. 11.20 resembles his "But 
the winds deceive thee, Darthula !" to " The winds have deceived thy sails " 
(p. 157 et seq.) ; finally, Strophe 29-65, embodying the long tale of a fabulous 
father of Darthula, by name Colla, recalls Macpherson's " The.^e are not the 
rocks of Nathos " to the words " His soul may come to Usnoth, and sadden 
his soul in the hall " (p. 158-164). That the Gaelic is not any original text 
may be inferred from the circumstance that it was quite unknown prior to the 
Stewarts, and that it cannot be traced elsewhere. 


268 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

be a mere waste of time to exhaiisfcively collecst. So foreign is this 
Gaelic '' Ossian '^ to the native popuLar ballads that all the efforts 
made to circulate and popularise it among the Scottish Highlands 
were quite imsuccessful, though a large edition was gratuitously 
distributed in 1818, and a cheap pocket edition appeared in 1857. 
From this we must ^xmclude that in the Highlands and Islands 
the " Ossian " of Macpherson was quite unknown, and all the 
while the common people of these districts preserve with touching 
fervour the cherished old ^material of the genuine "OsaLanic" 
folk-poetry. A more minute study of the text of the GaeUc 
" Ossian " leaves not the least room for doubt that it was trans- 
lated from the English original, and the Gaelic of 1807, like the 
earlier attempts in the same line, was merely designed to blind 
the world to the actual truth that the " Poems of Ossian " were 
fabricated by Macpherson's own hand. With this forgery of the 
" originals " the monstrous imposture was complete, and no palliar- 
tion of the contemptible deed or extenuation of the mendacious 
verbosity with which it was perpetrated are now any longer 

The exact procedure in the preparation of the Gaelic " Ossian ' 
is, of course, not known, but we have the evidence of Captain 
Alex. Morrison that Macpherson had associates in this work, and 
with some of them we are already familiar. He himself had, it 
may be admitted, some acquaintance with the colloquial language, 
but otherwise his knowledge of Gaelic was very meagre, and for 
him it must have been an exceedingly wearisoriTe task to repro- 
duce, in a language of which he had not the command, the 
voluminous poems of his youthful days. He took decades to do 
it. In the Gaelic " Ossian " nothing is more surprising than the 
literalness and the want of form of the rendering, and, besides, its 
style is imequal — the result of its having been produced inter- 
mittently, and generally, it may be surmised, a very long time 
after the issue of the Enghsh originals. To illustrate this, Mac- 
pherson quite forgot that the passage in " Temora " 8, 383-85, had 
already, in 1763, been communicated by him out of the " original " 
in a note (" Temora," p. 150), but entirely different from the text 
of 1807; and in the same " Temora" (p. 12 editio princeps) he 
wrote a philological reference to a word (' himdreds ') which can- 
not at be foimd in the Gaelic of 1807 " Temora" 1, 240). The 
same thing happens in the case of the phrase ' restless wanderer ' 
(" Carthon," p. 130), which, according to a note in the original, is 
said to have its counterpart in ^ scuta,' but we look in vain for 
such a word in the Gaelic of 1807 ("Carthon," 111). It is, 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 269 

therefore, demonstrable that the GaeHc was translated for the 
most part from the revised EngKsh edition of 1773, as witness, 
for instance, Carricthura, Conlath, Temora (cf. 1, 46, 155, 173, 
461), &c. Moreover the language of the texts is not of imiform 
quality, and particularly the seventh book of "Temora," which 
dates from 1763, is, though it is no masterpiece, markedly 
superior to aU the other parts of the translation. 

The publication of such an extensive body of text in a 
language whose literature was as yet so little known must of 
itself be regarded as a most useful contribution; but, unfor- 
tunately, it is not an authoritative linguistic source, and it is 
deplorable that the Albanogaelic lexicographers have taken a 
large part of their material from this faulty and un-GaeHc 
" Ossian." This jargon, which deviates so strangely from all 
real Gaehc, and which is iminteUigible to a Highlander, is actu- 
ally named by one grammarian " the Ossianic or pure Gaelic, 
while in Germany it was honoured with a learned description as 
' Middle GaeHc ' (' Mittel-gahsch '), and even in 1876 Professor 
Blackie broke a lance in its defence. Yet the very language alone 
of this Gaelic " Ossian " gives an ample basis for the charge of 
spuriousness : the text is throughout conspicuously wanting in 
those idiomatic turns in which Gaelic abounds, and it bristles 
with Anglicisms, which a Highlander can fall into only when he 
has half forgotten his native tongue. Further, the intrinsic dis- 
similarity of the two languages does not stand such a close Hteral 
rendering as is here professed. What, for example, can one make 
of the expression ' gorm astar nan speur ' (Carricthura 1) as ' thy 
blue course in heaven V Only too often is the English translated 
word for word, and therefore Arch. Clark, the last re-translator 
of the GaeHc " Ossian " — his predecessor in this Hne being Chr. 
W. Ahlwardt — complains unceasingly in his pretentious, though 
reaUy mediocre, edition, of the obscurity of the phraseology. 
Donald CampbeU, in his Treatise (p. 71 et seq.), has thoroughly 
amended almost an entire poem in order to give it a passable 
appearance; and Hector Maclean vigorously denounces the 
Ossianic disfigurement of his mother tongue. A few years ago 
Alex. Macbain, in the " Celtic Magazine " 12, 249 et seq., dis- 
cusses this subject with philological acumen. 

It is further noteworthy that this " Ossian " abounds in the 
most vulgar and corrupt forms of coUoquial Gaelic. One reads 
* na bairdan ' (Temora 1, 456-649) instead of ' na baird/ ' measg 
nam mna ' (Fingal 1, 211) instead of the correct ' nam ban/ ' nan 
eacha srann ' (Temora 3, 120), * cu ' as genitive sing. (6, 296), not 

270 Gaelic Society of Inueiness. 

only ' chunna mis' ' (1, 96), but even chunnam ' (Fingal 3, 42S, 
Carricthura 69), and ' chualam ' (Carricthura 168, Croma 7), with 
many other blemishes of the same kind. Besides, the singular 
absence of the most indispensable partioles, such as the article, 
the pronoim, and others, makes the diction extremely rugged. 
Prepositions are wrongly used, as when * do ' is written where the 
sense requires ' go ' (* to '), and the * go ' of the adverb is more 
frequently absent than present. * An lann o Luno ' — ' the sword 
of Limo ' — (Temora 6, 2), justifies the belief that Luno is a 
locality 1* : * air cheud ' (Carthon 76) is in the EngHsh ' at first/ 
but is not Gaelic therefor; 'air uair' (Cathloda 1, 161, etc.), 
which is to represent * sometimes,' is, like the phrase * air am ' 
(Temora 8, 20), falsely used for * air uairibh ' (Temora 3, 297) ; 
and so on. The descriptive genitive, one of the beauties of Gaelic 
style, e.g. — ' Diarmaid an aign," Dermid of the fray ; ' Donn- 
achadh nan oran,' Duncan of the songs ; * Glascho nan sraidean,' 
Glasgow of the many streets ; ' Osgar nan geur lann,' Oscar of the 
keen swords — is so misused that it becomes Tinbearable, and is 
frequently quite incomprehensible. Again we come across 
' ciochan nam beus ' (Golnadona 10), or ' broiQeach nam beus ' 
(ib. 145), * the breast of the (good) morals,' instead of * the chaste 
bosom.' Continually all the rules of syntax are violated, while 
inversions are as common as if the language recognised no rules 
at aU for the order of the words in a sentence : between the verb 
and its nominative an adverbial or even an accusative is inter- 
polated, and the genitive is persistently separated from, its regimen 
by intervening clauses! The adjective stands before when it 
shoidd foUow its noun, and vice versa^ — ^for instance, ' fuil shar ' 
(Gohiadona 149) for ' sar-fhuil' (ib. 6), ' 6g Oscar' (Temora 1, 
327), ' borb Stam ' (Fingal 3, 117), ' gorm-shiiileach 6g ' (Temora 
8, 75), ' nam ban-bhroilleach oigh ' (7, 322), * nan gorm-chruaidh 
laoch ' (Carricthura 34), * nan cruadalach ghniomh ' (Carthon 
43), and similar cases by the hundred and thousand. 

But from the point of view of lexicography we cannot arrive 
at a more satisfactory verdict on this Ossianic Gaelic. How very 
odd it is that the little word ' a^us ' (and), which, or in the form 
' is,' one meets almost in every line of a normal Gaelic text, appears 
here (except in Temora 7, 164, 233, 283, 400) only a very few 
times (Carricthura 4 in the Hymn, Carthon 60, Fingal 5, 44), and 

^* For the proper " Mac an Luinn," the son of Lon, that is, Fingal's sword 
(Temora VI., 254, Carricthura 298), there stands once " lann Luinne " (VIII., 
606), and once we find the nonsense, " e •tarruing garbh Luno nan lann " 
(III., 8). 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 271 

liliat ' ata/ for the abbreviated * ta/ or geaerally ' tka/ occurs only 
in Temora 7, 28 ! Nouns are used as adjectives, or verbs and 
adjectives as nouns, and for this reason words recur ad nauseam, 
aspeoially the nouns ' feum,' ' cruach,' * cam,' ' ceo,' ' oruaidh,' the 
adjectives ' ciar,' * faon,' the verbs ' iadh,' * taom,' ' aom,' and, like 
the last named, in sdgnifioations which are absolutely unwar- 
ranted, and which can be divined only from the English version. 
Who could guess the meaning of the gibberish, ' Mhosgail osna 
nam beus o 'urla ' (Croma, 151), unless the EngHsh original, ' His 
sigh arose,' gave the due, and the phrase, * Osna o urlar mo 
chleibh,' which is found elsewhere, still further cleared up the 
mystery ? The word * trian, a third, is also strangely used, often 
aa more or less the equivalent of ' something,' * somewhat ' ; 15 
the favourite expression, ' gu ciil,' in the meaning * entirely ' ; 16 
' o aois ' (Carricthura, 32), instead of the elsewhere so favoured 
phrase, ' o shean,' 'of old ' ; 17 and many other instances. Hen- 
nessy, in the " Academy," 1871, p. 390, has emphasised the rich- 
ness of the Gaehc " Ossian " in English loan-words — ^they only 
prove, however, the modemness of the language employed. 

The Gaelic translation is, as we have observed, not uniform, 
and it is not self-consistent. To take just one example — The 
Maopherson ' joy of grief,' as often as it occurs (Fingal 1, 568 — 5, 
440; Temora 7, 404; Carricthura, 35; Croma, 50), is almost 
always differently rendered. The whole work, indeed, lacks sym- 
metry and careful execution. 

Further, shoidd those lines, numbered as verse, in the Gaelic 
" Ossian," which here and there show terminal rhymes, have a 
poetical form, then this form, as given, would be open to censure, 
in respect of the exscution and euphony which characterise all 
other GaeHc poetry, e\'^en that- of the eighteenth century. Tliere 
is no fixed number of syllables, no alliteration, no assonance, and 
no rhyme !18 The prevailing feature of those more than 10,000 

^« Conlath 91 Comala 230, Calthon 119, 273, Temora I, 254, 718—2, 399— 
3, 74, 101, 350, 460, 480-4, 127, 428—5, 158, 289, 334, 348—6, 115, 138, 155,. 
310—8, 52, 76, 284. 413, 489, ^U—but not in Temora 7/ 

^6 Cathloda 3. 83, Carricthura 136, Calthon 206, Fingal 3, 164. Temora 8, 
203, 302, 414 533. Alex. Macdonald uses the phrase in another sense — 
Aillea^an glah iw, A dhallas ruisg gu^n Citl (Ed. 1874, p. 9). 

^^ Fingal 1, 517, 577—3, 314—6, 59 ; Temora 2, 376, 437—5, 79 ; Cath- 
loda 1, 252, 262 — 3, 51, 190. The Anglicism is found, however, elsewhere. 
e.g.i in William Ross — ^S labhair an t-ursgeal o shean. 

^^ The very worthy H. Ebel had evidently been deluded on this subject 
when he gravely discusses in the second edition of the Qrammatica Celtica of 
Caspar Zeuss, p. 956 et seq., the versification of the Gaelic " Ossian." 

^72 GaeliG Society of Inverness. 

' verses ' is a turgid and meaningless phraseology. Some of the 
pieces have apparently been subjected to a more thorough revisal, 
and, speaking generally, it may be admitted that here and there 
one meets beautifid passages, and among hiindreds of wretched 
verses some that are beyond complaint — but *' apparent ran 
nantes in gurgite vasto." 

The thoughtless recklessness with which the Gaehc " Ossian " 
is rendered with slavish hteralness from the English is in the 
matter of personal names still more apparent even to the ordinary 
reader. These appear throughout in a form which corresponds 
with the English modelled according to the pronunciation, but it 
does not correspond with the true Gaelic form found in the popular 
ballads and elsewhere. The name Fingal — rthat is, * Fionn 
Gaidheal,' ' Finn of the Gaels ' — by which the hero since ancient 
times has been known among the Lowland Scots, but by which he 
is extremely rarely definitely designated by the Gaelic-speaking 
population, is in 1807 straightway changed to ' Fionghal,' and 
later, indeed, to ' Fionngheal,' though in 1763 (Temora, p. 229) 
Macpherson had more correctly written it ' Fionnghael/ 19 The 
ancient form Fionn (Middle-Irish, Finn) is of very rare occur- 
rence in the Gaelic " Ossian " (Comala, 134, 137 ; Fingal 3, 335), 
GoU, the strongest hero among the Feinne, becomes in the English 
version ' Gaul,' and thereafter in the " Ossian " of 1807, * Gall ' ; 
the hero Faolan, written according to pronunciation ' Fillan ' in 
the English " Ossian," becomes ' Fillean ' in the Gaehc, being 
correctly given as ' Faolan ' only in " Temora " 7, 20. loUan 
appears as ' Ullin ' ; Dearg (Dargo) as ' Deargo ' (Calthon, 174) ; 
clann Uisneach (the sons of Usnoth) as clann Usnoth (Temora. 1, 
567) ; and Hidallan in the English, transmuted in to ' Hideallan ' 
in the Gaehc, is probably the form Sithallan (Cb. 58a), which 

^® The form Fionn ghael (also Stewart, (^lollection, p. 555), is incorrect, 
inasmuch as the opposition (gael or gaidhccd) should have no aspiration. The 
correct explanation of the name Fingal, which first appears in the " Bruce " of 
John Barbour, is given incidentally by Drummond, Essay, p. 142, and Ch. 
Stewart, Killin, Collection of Gaelic Songs, p. 83 ; Hill, Ancient Erse Poems, 
p. 6, wrote Fion na Gael. In 1689, in Dublin, a travesty appeared. The 
Irish Hudibras or the Fingalian Prince, in which Ossian poses as the bard of 
the Danish giants in Ireland (Ulster Journal, VI., 1858, p. 315). " Fingalian" 
is derived from Fionn-ghall, " fair stranger," that is, Norwegian, which is 
occasionally confounded with the name of the leader of the Feinne — as, for 
instance, in a shliochd riogh Fionnaghaidhill (R. Macdonald, Collection 2, 
p. 114), instead of Fionna-ghall ; cf. Mackenzie, Beauties of Gaehc Poetry, 
p. 38, 77, 214. [Dr Stern's explanation is not quite satisfactory. Barbour's 
" Fyngal " is a copyist's error, the original being " fra Fyng al liis men" — 
GoU took from Fin cUl his men. The name Ri Fionughall — King of the Norse 
— is the title assumed by the Lord of the Isles, and is the real origin of 
Macpherson's Fingal. — Trans.] 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 273 

-again appears in " Fingal " 1, 439, as ' Sith-almim/ One cannot 
mention all the numberless personal names invented deliberately 
by Macpherson, and with, a special regard, as in the case of * Mal- 
vina,' to considerations of euphony. 

Is it possible then, we ask, that the universally known name 
of Finn's wajrior bands, ' fiann. ' or ' feinn, the Feinne, never once 
occurs in this Gaelic " Ossian 1" 20 lt> was possible because Mac- 
pherson was insufficiently acquainted with the Graelic language 
and poetry, and because in his poems he generally abandoned the 
scene of the old mythical legends and transported his heroes into 
the region of his own imagination. The majority of his place- 
names are quite fictitious and untraceable, and the actual names 
are met with at other times under another garb. It has been 
already remarked that * Morven ' — ' Mor-bheann,' great moun- 
tain — ^is a piece of romantic invention; and Macpherson's 
apologists are accustomed to identify it as Moraim (Cb. 186b) — 
Morvem, on the Sound of Mull, in Argyll — ^as if this were a mere 
matter of course. The name of the Royal palace, * Selma ' or 
' Seallamath ' — ^that is, ' Belvedere ' (fine prospect)- — is of Mao- 
pherson's own creation : scholars locate the actual site as that of 
the ancient Berigonium at Ardmucknish, north of Loch Etiva 
The old Irish regal seat, Temair or Teamhair — ^rampart or terrace 
— in the province of Meath, callel by O'Flaherty, in his " Ogygia " 
(p. 186), Temoria, and indicated in an andent tradition in the 
Dinnshenchas as * Teae Murum,' 21 has undergone an astonishing 
transformation at the hands of Macpherson. From the cus- 
tomary pronunciation of the obHque case, ' Teamhrach, Teamhra,' 
the name is written Taura, Tewra, or Tura, but in Ireland Tara ; 
yet he uses Temora and Tura in close conjunctian (e.g., Temofra, 
p. 165 — 1, 100-104), without, of course, suspecting that both are 
variants of the very same woixL Further, in the Gaelic ' Ossian " 
of 1807 the name is daringly changed into * Tighmora,' apparently 
in the belief that it is equivalent to ' great house ' ; and quite as 
impossible is his rendering of the name as ' Ti-mor-ri' ' — * house 
of the great king'— in 1763 (Temora, p. 179). 22 We need not 

^ Fianrif gen. feinne^ means the band, troop ; the plural, fianna^ the troops 
or the soldiers : usually Finn's troops are understood thereby, and in modern 
times the Irish Celts delight to designate themselves the " Fenians." 

« Cf., Wh. Strokes in " Folk-lore," 3, 470. " Revue Celtique," 15, 277. 

22 John Smith, Seandkna (p. 43), gives this valuable verse— 
" An Seallama, 'n Taura no 'n Tigh-m6r-ri* 
Cha'n'eil slige, no oran, no clarsach." 
^'In Selma" (Macphersonian), "in Taura" (or Tura, pwperly Teamair), "or in 
Tigh-mor-righ " (or Temoiia, properly Teamair), " there is neither shell, song, 
nor harp." 18 

274 Gaelic Society of inuerness, 

therefore be surprised that he altered ' Ohieoiiiacht/ the andent 
name of the Province of Connaught, into ' ALieGnia ' (Teanora 2, 
287), and ' Sorcha/ the Land of Light, the Land of the Blest, into 
a region * Sora,' in Scotland. 

But a truce to this GaeUc " ossdan !" Had it all along been 
more diligently read, and studied, it would certainly not have been 
so often belauded. 

The intention to defraud waa present to Macpherson from the 
time that influential patrons honoured him with their confldence. 
The two specimens printed by him. in the " Gentleman's Magazine," 
XXX., 287 et seq., 23 and the "Fragments" of 1760, in which 
" Ossian " already is the chief figure, 24 are a still more scandalous 
product than the " Poems," if that, indeed, be possible ; and only 
two of the " Fragments " (Nos. 6 and 14) are based on ballads, by 
which we mean that some lines of these are incorporated — all the 
rest of the composition being romantic phantasy. Let us then 
hsten to himself in his Introduction to the " Fragments " : — " The 
translation is extremely hteral. Even the arrangement of the 
words in the original has been imitated;" and in his preface to 
his Introduction of 1771 : — " An enemy to fiction himself, he im- 
poses none upon the world.' Now, in this very work he forged 
(p. 168) GaeUc verses, and (p. 180 et seq.) he ' translates ' a legend, 
wliich has absolutely no existence whatever, on the subject of the 
Celtic elysiuHL But it is everywhere the same ; his whole literary 
life reeks of fraud. Macpherson resorted to falsehood because the 
reputation of having discovered and restored to an honoured 
publicity something ancient and marvellous which had escaped 
the notice of all others was of greater value in his eyes than the 
simple truth that his actual materials were nothing but the familiar 
folk-poetry which he despised, and which the friends of his muse 
looked upon as merely miserable crudities. His imposture is, in 
its details, even more detestable than that of Th. de la Ville- 
marque, whose " Barraz-Breiz," nowadays recognised as spurious, 
took similar unwarrantable liberties with the popular ballads of 
the Bretons. It may be conceded that Macpherson had to some 
small extent imbibed the spirit of Gaeho poetry, but he had so 
mixed it up with noxious sentimentality and religious unction 

^ One of the two songs. " Autumn is dark on the mountains," appears 
later in " Carricthura ; " the other, " The wind and the rain are over," is 
absorbed in the " Songs of Selma.** 

24 Of the " Fragments," four find a place later in " Carricthura," five in 
the " Fingal," two in the " Songs of Selma," and five remained unused. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 275 

that it became scarcely recognisable as a native product. All 
that remains to his credit, then, is the impetus he gave to the study 
of the Gaehc language, and his services in this direction cannot be 

We cannot now, said J. Hardinan in 1831, look back on this 
huge piece of fabrication — which certainly belonged to a period 
notorious for its Hterary impostures — ^without amazement at the 
perfect audacity of the forger, the infatuation of his learned 
apologists, and the national credulity and ignorance of an entire 
people. In Scotland, it is true, it took a longer time for the truth 
to prevail, and that it penetrated to all parts of Germany no one 
who has studied this period of the history of literature can readily 
maintain. We therdtore trust that the foregoing exposition will 
not appear superfluous. 25 

We cannot take leave of this counterfeit " Ossian " without 
mentioning some of the kindred spirits whom the example of this 
desperate man tempted to similar courses. 

The first of these Ossianists is a John Clark, who in 1778 
published as the work of Caledonian bards a small volume of 
poems in Enghsh prose — ^vapid imitationsi, which even surpassed 
Macpherson in lachrymose sentimentality, and can deceive only 
the most credulous and inexperienced. Of the first two sections 
of the " Mordubh," the first of these epic poems, GiUies supplied 
in 1786 a Gaehc version, the beginning of which was again printed 
in D. Macleod's " Grain," 1811, p. 257 et seq., and it was not till 

^^ I may, by way of- example, express my astonishment that Sidney Lees' 
Dictionary"^ of National Biography, Vol. XXXV., 1893, sub voce Macpherson, 
homologates the views of imperfectly-informed apologists in stating, " It is 
therefore clear that the general charge of forgery in the form in which it was 
made by Johnson was unjustifiable." Johnson's verdict is undeniably the 
correct one. At the same time, we have seen that many scholars have wavered 
in their judgment, for instance, our own Jacob Grimm (Kleinere Schriften II., 
79), and even Celtic specialists have not always expressed themselves with the 
decisiveness called ^r on this point : take H. Ebel in the Litterarisches 
Centralblatt, 1870, p. 836 ; H. Gaidoz n the Revue Celtique I., 482 ; E. 
Windisch in his article " Keltische Sprachen " in Ersch and Gruber's Encyklo- 
padie (1864), p. 160. But, like W. Shaw, in the last century many scholars, 
from being believers, have become unbelievers. We specially mention Thomas 
Maclauchlan (Gaelic Society, Inverness, VII., 204-9, 127) ; further, compare J. 
F. Campbell's Tales of the West Highlands IV., 1862, with his Leabhar na 
Feinne, 1^72 ; Gaelic Society, Inverness, X., 95 et seq. with XII., 210 (1886), 
and Celtic Magazine XII., 135 et seq. (1887) ; and, last of all, An Qaidheal 
YI., 65 (1877), with Chambers's Encyclopaedia (1891). 

276 Gaelic Society of inuerness. 

1821 26 tihat a complefce edition of these 763 rhymeless verses waa 
given, to the pubha While this trauslatioia is a verbal coiiater- 
part of the Enghah original, Clark's own translations from the 
Gaeho are nothing more than duU and wearisome paraphrases, 
like Alexander Maodonald's " Siumner," and " The Wish of the 
Aged Bard," a piece first published by R. Macdonald, and in all 
probability composed by himself. 27 He had not inlierited his 
father's Hterary capacity. 

The second of the Ossianists is, we mus^ say with regret, John 
Smith, of Campbellton (ob. 1807), a man whose efforts to give a 
fixed form to the wntten language of the Scottish Gaels entitles 
him to some credit. In 1780 he published in English, and inLl78T 
in a Gaelic rendering, fourteen poems of the Ossianic type, partly 
in rhyme and partly rhymeless, *' for the most part taken down 
from oral recitation." These * Seandana ' are certainly written in 
intelligible language, but they out-Macpherson Macpherson, and 
the effrontry of such a forgery at the hands of a clergyman fills 
one with amazement. A frank confession that he himself was the 
author of these old songs — ^which brought him neither fame nor 
money — did not commend itself to Smith, though a year before 
his death thia course was suggested to him by P. Graham. 

The third fabricator is the Baron Edmund de Harold, an 
Irishman in the Elector-Palatine service. He in 1775 turned 
into German Macpherson's Poems, and in 1787 published on his 
own account a series of seventeen forgeries. That h^ was con- 
sdoua that this was a culpable act on his part is manifest from a 
letter, of date 5th December, 1775, found among his papers, and 

^ This is an undoubted forgery. The passage Mordubh 316 varies entirely 
in the Gaelic edition from what, according to a note in Olark's " translation," 
p. 54, it should read. Mordnbh 102 : 's cuim am bi Mordal air dheireadh ? 
is Macphersonic, "and why should Ogar be the last?" (Fingal IV., 61). 
Mordubh 111, Corhhui &u hhmg diu, has its prototype in Macpherson's " Conan 
of small renown " (Fingal 6, 399), and this again echoes phrases like fa daon 
^h/niomh, Ch. Brooke's Relics II., p. 404, or bu ahaol gniomk, Cb. 75a, in the 
KaUads. Debgreine in the Mordubh also signifies "sunbeaim," as in Mac- 
pherson, and the "narrow house " also is used, 471. 

^ The Scottish Gaels set great store by this poem, but it does not belie 
the Macphersonian spirit, especially in such expressions as ged sheinneadh taitg 
Strophe 13, Gormheall 15, a chaodh fwjch pill o'n leabaidh chaoil 21 (cf. 
leahaidk de *n g4rr bhidh cwmhamgy Hardiman I., 94), fosglatbJis* thaUa Oitein *$ 
Dhojoil 36 (cf. Temora II., 550), tetich nam bdrd air ArdbJievnn and mo ahlige 
Z7. Slige chreachavnn or chrea/chag^ the clam shell, the cup of t!he Ossianic 
heroes was, in fact, in earlier days the drinking vessel in the Scottish High- 
lands (cf. Smith JScanddna p. 27 : Alex. Macdonald, Poems, p. 75), and we 
come across it also in the latest poets (such as Mary Macpherson and John 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 277 

addressed to Herder, in which the spuriousness of the Macpherson 
poems is disclosed with the greatest lucidity. "No one," he 
writes, " admirejs him more than I do; but I admire truth more 
than him.' This, however, did not prevent his sending, on 20th 
August of the same year, a Macpherson poem of his own composi- 
tion to Herder, witJb. the declaration, " I've translated this song 
from the Celtic into English." 28 

The fourth of the Ossianists is the Rev. D. MaoCallum, of 
Arisaig, who published, in 1821, not only the complete " Mor- 
dubh," but also a Gaehc poem, " Collath," the iilleged work of an 
ancient bard '' Fonar." Both were reprinted in J. Mackenzie's 
" Beauties of Gaelic Poetry," 1840. " Collath " is a clumsy per- 
formance, after Macpherson, of 504 imrhymed verses, and was 
manufactured by the editor inmself , as is proved by his admission 
in. the second edition of 1842, where he applies himself to explain 
and remove the deception. 

So widely had the Macpherson virus infected the native land 
of the poet that some writers could not restrain themselves from 
alloying, with sentimental additions, the genuine indigenous 
popular poetry. We accordingly propose to examiae critically 
the Gaehc ballad texts after 1763, and to clear them of foreign 
impurities. Even in Ireland itself the evil had to be reckoned 
with. There Theophilus O'Plannagan outdid aU. previous per 
f ormanoes in that quarter by finding in the moor of the Hill of 
Callan, ia the county of Clare, a weathered stone with an Ogam 
inscription. This turned out to be the epitaph of Conan, a hero 
who has an entertaining role in the Ossianic folk-songs, and the 
fortTinate discoverer pubHshed some stanzas taken, it was said, 
from an ancient manuscript, but in reality his own handiwork, or 
that of J. Lloyd or M. Comyn, which described the manner of 
Conan's death and his grave, and, Hkewise, made mention of the 
inscription. O'Flannagan's learned trea.tis© is to be found in the 
Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy of the year 1787. 29 

Chapter II. 

While the poems of Macpherson were the object of unpre- 
cedented popidar laudation, the veritable folk-ballads on which 
they were founded got scarcely any attention, although the latter 
were of the highest probative value in the controversy as to the 

^ Rud. Haym, Herder nach seinem Leben and seinen Werken II., 606-609. 
^ A vindication of O'Flanagan was undertaken by Sam. Ferguson. 
V. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy II., 1 (1879), pp. 160, 265, 315. 

278 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

authenticity of the " Poems of Ossion." These Ossianic ballads 
are, without exception, late Irish or late Gaelic metrical composi- 
tions, and to have a proper conception of their development it is 
necessary to retrace our steps to the older and mid-Irish literature 
— a period of immense interest and singularly rich in myths and 

The mythological or Saga world of the Gaelic races comprise 
three cycles — First, the story of the Tuatha De Danann in their 
continued character aa terrestrial spirits or fairies — the mytho- 
logical cycle : this cycle is left out of accoTint in the present investi- 
gation; second, the heroic feats of Cuchulinn, under King Con- 
chobar of Ulster, who is made contemporaneous with the birth of 
Christ ; and, lastly, the feats and adventures of the soldier King, 
Finn Mac Cumaill, and his troops, under the Head King, Cormac, 
in the third century. These myths are primaeval, yet we must 
bear in mind that not only has the actual existence of Cuchulainn 
as " Fortissimus hero Sootorum " been called in question, but that 
Professor Zimmer has declared the mythic personality of Finn to 
be merely an Irish representation of a Norwegian chieftain, Caittil 
Find (the fair, ' hviti,' Cathal), in the ninth century, of whom the 
Irish annals testify, and that, in the opinion of the same scholar, 
the names Ossin and Oscar are the old Norse Asvin and Asgeirr. ^ 

The period of Cuchulinn myths or sagas is that of the birth of 
Christ. Then, according to the Irish narrators (' seannachaidh '), 
flourished Eoohaidh Feidlech, chief King of Ireland, to whom is 
attributed the division of tne kingdom into separate provinces. 
Among the kings of his time, Conchobar Mac Nessa is pre-eminent, 
who niled over Ulster, and in his palace, Craebruad (the red 
branch), and at his seat, Emain, gathered round himself a brilliant 
band erf knights (' curaidh '), of whom were prominent Conall 
Cemach, Laegaire Buadach, Fergus Mac Roig, and, above all, 
Cuchulaind or CuchuUin, the son of Subaltam. Of tlie numerous 
mid-Irish tales regarding these heroes, which are preserved in the 
old codices, such as " Leber na Huidre," The Book of the Dun 
Cow (hide) (eleventh century), " The Book of Leinster " (twelfth 

*> Cf. Zeitschrift fiir deutaches Altertum 35, 141, 254 ; Gocting. Gel. 
Anzeigen 1891, p. 186 ; Academy 1891, I., 284 ; Revue Celtlque 12, 295 et 
seq.; also Skene, Celtic Scotland, I., 312. H. F. Hore in 1858 tries to estab- 
lish that Goll Mac Morna and Finn Mac Cumaiil were leaders of foreign 
mercenaries in Ireland (v. Ulster Journal of Archaeology, VI., 294 et seq.) It 
is not impossible that "fiann," the collective form being "fciunidh," is a 
borrowed word — according to Zimmer, it mieht be the old Norse borrowed 
word fjandvy enemy— and thnt the warriors so designated belonged to a foreign 
stock. Adhuc sub judice lis est. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 279 

century), " The Book of BaUymote" (1390), " The YeUow Book of 
Lecan " (1391), " The Book of Mac-Firbis of Lecan. " (1416), " The 
Book of Lismore " (fifteenth century), and other later repositories, 
the most celebrated is the " xain bo Chuailgne " 31 (the spoil of 
the cattle of Cooley), contained in the two oldest manuscripts. 

In this Irish prose " Iliad, with its inlaid metrical passages, is 
given the story of a campaign, of the Ulster heroes against the 
men of Connaught, over whom ruled AiliU, along with Medb, a 
daughter of the Chief King, Eochaidh. CuchuHin is the AchiUes 
of this story. Up to quite modem times the Irish have read the 
" Tain," though in a materially altered text very different from 
that of the ancient ballads, the obsolete words being for the most 
paiii replaced by others more current, and the antique forms 
changed into modem. The transformation which the ancient 
original has undergone in the process of oral transmission is shown 
by the " Torachd na taine " (the pursuit of the cattle spoil), col- 
lected by Alex. Carmichael, in the Island of Uist, and published 
by him in 1873. 32 We can trace the origin of many another 
popular tale and of several ballads to the rich legendary profusion 
of this mythical era. 

The romantic stories of the knights of the "Red Branch" 
belong to the North of Ireland — that is, Ulster and Connaught — 
while the band of Finn and the Fenians (the Feinne) has its 
original domicile in the South, Leinster and Munster. In the old 
written records it does not bulk largely, but its development and 
expansion have continued into modem times. In the third 
cei:tury of our era, the story relates, there existed in Ireland the 
martial caste, the Feinne, a mihtia or standing army under the 
Chief, King Cormac ' Longbeard ' (Ulfhada), the son of Art, and 
grandson of Conn " of the hundred fights " (cetcathach), and his 
successor, Cairbre Lifechair. This band was divided mto three 
or more, usually seven, regiments (catha), and had officers over 
evriy nine, fifty, and hundred men, though other accoTints give 
150 officers for every " three times nine " men. Whoever wished 
to enlist had to satisfy rigorous tests. He had in a way to re- 
nounce his relatives, and to his comrades alone belonged the right 

3^ Both recensions of this are analysed by H. Zimmer in the Zeitschrift fiir 
virgleichende Sprachforschung " (28, 442-76). 

^ Gaelic Society, Inverness (2, 25 et seq.), translated in " Celtic Magazine " 
(13. 321-351 et seq.) ; another version from the Island of Eigg is found in 
" Celtic Magazine" (13, 514-16). Macpherson also gives the tale of " Tora na- 
tana," " a dispute about possession," in which an alleged expedition of Cuch- 
uUin's against the Firbolg or Belgae of Britain is depicted (" Fingal " p. 144. 
ed. 1762). 

280 Gaelic Society of inuerness. 

to vindicate him (eric). He must have the gift of poetry, and be 
versed in the twelve books of the Muse according to the j-dee of 
the Chief Bard (oUam). With only a hazel stick of an arm's 
length in his hand and a spear, and standing in a hole in the earth, 
he had to allow himself to be attacked simultaneously by nine 
warriors armed with spears from a distance of nine field-rigs, and 
unless he emerged scatliless from this trial he was rejected. With 
the hair of his head set up, and with a start of only a tree's 
breadth, he had to run through a forest with a whole war-troop 
in chase : he dased not let himself be overtaken or his hair fall, 
nor must the weapon in his hand tremble, nor a withered twig 
break under his foot. He had also to spring over a branch the 
height of his forehead, and bend under anoSier no higher than 
his knee. Besides he must be able to hold out a spear without 
trembling arm, and to pull out while running a thorn from his 
foot with his nail. Bravery in face of the enemy, chivahic regard 
towards women, and compassion for the poor were other obliga- 
tions, along with loyalty to the Chief King and sworn fidelity to 
the head commander. In time of peace the Feinne were the 
custodians of the public security, tliey maintained the right of the 
ruler, and guarded the harbours against strangers. They received 
no pay, and only in winter — ^from ' Samhain ' or All Saints, that 
is, 1st November — ^were they under shelter. In summer — from 
' Beltine ' (or Easter fire), that is, 1st May — ^they lived in the 
open, and supported themselves by the chase and fishing; they 
slept on a triple couch of branches, moss, and rushes, and cooked 
in the evening their daily meal, roasting the flesh at the fire or 
stewing it between heated stones. The traces of their fii*es 
(' fualachta na bhfiann ') the peasant finds even at the present 
day in deep layers of the ground. The foregoing is the account 
the Irish historians give us of the Feinne 33 •. — 

" Ni chanamaois-ne an fhiann go, 
Breag leo nior samhlaidh riamh : 
Le finnne is le neart ar lamh 
Do thigmis slan o gach gliadh." 

" A He ne'er spoke the Feinne, 
Nor was deceit their wont : 
Strong of hand and true. 
Scatheless we came from, each fray.'' 34 

88 Cf. Wh. Stokes, the Book of Lismore, p. XL. ; O'Grady, Silva Gadelica,^ 
p. 92, 258 ; G. Keating, the History of Ireland, translated by J. O'Mahony, 
p. 345-50 ; O'Curry, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, 2, 379. 

^ Joum. Kilkenny Arhaeol. Soc. I., 1849-51 p. 333 ; Transactions of tne 
Ossianic Society, 4, 52, 84. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 281 

The generalissimo or ' rigfheaimid ' 35 (' War-king ') of this re- 
nowned band was, in. the time of Chief King Cormac, Finn or 
Find (modem Irish * Fionn '). His father was Cumall (Cimihall, 
Cuwal), the son of Trenmor, who, under Conn of the hundred 
fights, had attained the same dignity, and who was kOled by Goll 
Mao Moma in the battle of Cnucha ; and Finn's mother was the 
Muxne Munchaem, a daughter of the Druid Taig (Tadg), and 
from her he inherited his stronghold of Alwinn (Alma, Almhain, 
nowadays Allen), in the county of Kildare, in Leinster. ^^ Now, 
the oldest tradition — in Cormac's Glossary s.v. ' oroc treith ' — 
recognises Finn Mac CumaiU as the great hunter, whose power 
extended over all Ireland, and this coincides with the statement 
that he filled the post of honour of ' amhusgilla con,' head hunts- 
man of the Chief King (Silva Gad., p. 90). But the legend has 
decked him out as a War-King, with all the accessory accomplish- 
ments. Not only was he Field Marshal of the army and head of 
his race, but also seer, poet, and prophet. So in an old poem it 
reads: — 

" Ba ri, ba faid, ba fih 
Ba triath co met mor-fhine 
At fisid 's ar ndrai 's ar faid 
Ba bind lind each ni doraid." 

The foremost heroes in Finn's army were Cailte, the son of 
Eonan, the son of Finn's aunt Eithne, a daughter of Tadg; 
Dermid, the son of O'Duibhne ; MaoLugach, son of Finn's sister ; 
and Finn's own sons, Fergus and Oisin, and Oscar, the son of 
the latter. Like Finn, they all were of the Baisgne branch, and 
with this was allied the branch of Moma under its chief Goll, the 
strongest warrior of Feinne, who formerly had led them from 
Connaught. Goll's brother was Garadh Black-knee (ghm-dubh), 
and his kinsman was Conan, the Thersites among the Feinne, as 
Brichni was before him in the days of King Conchobar. Not a 

^ In a way, the seventh king in Ireland — along mtb the Chief King and 
the kings of the five fifths into which the land was divided. Silva Gad., 2.58. 

^ A poem in the Giessen Irish manuscript of Daniel DriscoU (p. 52b) 
" Fiarfraios Padraig Mhacha^'' which also appears in the " Duanaire Fhinn," 
makes Finn a descendant of the Ulster chieftain, Deaghaidh, who was driven 
out by the Clan Rughraidhe, and settled in South Munster. His grandson 
was the famed Curi Mac Daire, whose brother Baisgne was Finn's ancestor. To 
the same Deaghaidh another genealogical tree in a tale in the same manuscript 
(p. 19a) leads back (cf. Silva Gad. p. 280). 

282 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

few tales celebrate the Feiime and their exploits, but the most of 
these are embodied in the modem Irish languaga 37 

The power of the Feinne and the rigour with which they 
guarded their hunting and other privileges are said to have 
become so unbearable to the Irish that Cormac's successor, 
Cairbre, was anxious to drive the band into exile. One story 
gives it that this widespread hostihty came to a head when the 
Feinne tried to exact the " Herrenrecht " (jus primae noctis) in 
the case of Cairbre's daughter (Oss. I., 134 et seq.). The Chief 
King took the field against them, and utterly crushed them at 
Gabor or Gaura in 283 a.d., or, according to the other account, 
in two battles, Gaura and OUarba (Silva Gad> p. 118). Of the 
few survivors, Oisin and Cailte are said to have outlived all others, 
9ven, according to the Saga, to have lived up to the time of Saint 
Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, who arrived in the land in the 
year 431. An extant middle-Irish tract, the " AgaHamh na 
Senorach " (the Discourse of the Seniors), is based on this legend, 
and it relates that both the aged men accompanied the saint ui 
his journeys throug- Ireland, and entertained him with stories of 
the heroic time, and that they were noted down by Patrick's 
amanuensis, Brooan. 38 

In the Mid-Irish literature we also find individual poems 
which are ascribed to the Fenian heroes, but these compositions 
are certainly not of that epoch, as such antique rehcs of the Irish 
language are absolutely non-existent, though, it may be admitted, 
some of them reach back to the Old-Irish linguistic boundary. 
ExtoUed above aU, even as a bard, is Finn Mac Cumhaill, and to 
hma is imputed, along with a frament in *' Lebor na Huidre," 1 1b, 
20, and with the verses in the " Book of Leinster " (192a, 34-62 ; 

^ The oldest of these tales concerns tho youthful feats of Finn (od. 
O'Donovan, Oss. IV., 288 et seq.; ed. Dav. Comyn, Dublin, 1881 ; ed. K. 
Meyer, Rev. Cel. V., 197 et seq.) ; two short tales edited by K. Meyer (Rev. 
Celt. XIV., 241 et ^eq.) out of the old Stowe MS. 992. The same scholar 
published the " Battle of Ventry " (Oxford, 1885), which shows already the 
New Irish characteristics. Other New Irish tales from the Ossianic Saga 
cycle have been published by N. O'Keamey, St H. O'Grady, J. O'Daly (Self- 
Instruction, 1871, p. 41— Silva, p. 289), P. W. Joyce, J. F. Campbell (Cb. 
88), W. A. Craigie (Scottish Rev. XXIV., 270), &c. 

^ The AgaUamh has been edited from the Book of Lismore, and translated 
by St H. O'Grady (Silva Gadelica, p. 94-233). Previously three poems from 
this same source were published by 0*Conor, Scriptores I., Epistola, p. 123 
(—Silva Gad., p. 149 ; in a later recension by O'Keamey, Oss. I., 33) ; by 
O'Curry, Materials, p. 594 (—Silva Gad., p. Ill): by J. O'Daly, Oss. IV., 280 
( — Silva Gad., p. 105). Two extracts therefrom have been translated by H. 
Zimmer in the Zeitschrift fur Deutsches Altertum XXXIII., 268 et seq. 

Ossianic Heroio Poetry. 283 

193a, 34-204A, 32; 297b, 61-298b, 34), the Spring-Song 
" Cettemaiii cain" (Revue Celtique 5, 201), and the Sununer- 
song, " Tanic-sona slaii soer," in the Oxford Rawlinson manuscript, 
B502, fol. 59b (Gottinger Gel. Anzeigen, 1887, p. 185) ; also two 
poems in the Book of Lecan (O'Curry, Manuscript Materials, p. 
303) ; the didactic poem to Mac Lugach in the *' Agallamh," a 
prophecy, etc. (Silva Gad., p. 107, 230). Other poems are 
attributed to Cailte Mac Ronain, some in the " AgaUamh, and 
one especially in the Book of Leinster, 208a, 24, in which the 
Veteran bewails the decay of his strength and dexterity. 

As the solitary remaining hero, Oisin, the son of Finn, comes 
before us in an ancient poem, which Kuno Meyer (Revue Celt. 6, 
186), brought to Hght from a manuscript of the fourteenth 
century, MS. Stowe, 992. Here the bard pours out his lament 
in the s^le of the many later ballads which bear his name : — 

My hands are withered. 

My deeds are checked. 

The flood pressed on ajid reached the land. 

And swamped my might. 

, Thanks give I to the Creator, 
Who joy and fortune gives. 
Long is my day in this sad Hf e ! 
Happy was I in other days. 

Stately was our hero band : 
Gracious were the wives they had. 
Faint-hearted leave I not the world ; 
My proud career is at an end. 

Noteworthy is another poem of Oisin in the Book of Leinster 
(154a, 44), as it refers to the already mentioned Battle of Gaura, 
in which his son, Oscar, and King Cairbre fought one another to 
the death 39 :_ 

An ogam on a stone, and a stone on a grave. 
Where once men trod ; 
Erin's prince on a white horse 
Was slain by a slender spear. 

3»Cf. E. Windisch, Irische Texte, p. 157 et seq.; O'Grady, Silva Gad., 
transl., p. 475, 521 ; D'Arbois de Jubainville, L' Epopde Celtique en Irlande 1, 


284 Gaelic Society of Inuernesa. 

Cairbre made a amel cast, 
High on his horse good in the fray ; 
Shortly before they both were lamed — 
He struck Oscar's right arm off. 

Oscar made a. mighty cast, 
Raging bold like a Hon : 
Killed Cairbre, grandson of Conn, 
Whom warriors bold obeyed. 40 

Youths, mighty and daring. 
They met their death in the strife ; 
Not long before their combat, 
More heroes had fallen than lived. 

I myself was in the fight. 
Southward there of Gabor green; 
Twice fifty men I slew — 
With my own hand I slew them. 

The Ogam is here on the stone. 
Round which many ill-fated fell ; 
Were Finn, in prowess great, alive, 
Long in mind would be the Ogam. 

The original text has both alliteration and assonance, and, as 
customary, the first and tlie la.sL words of the poem are the same. 
An equally ancient ballad of Ossin s (LL. 208a, 7 — E. Windisch, 
Texte, p. 162) depicts a hunt of a wild boar; and of later date 
seems to be a poem edited oy Wh. Stokes from the Book of 
Leinster (206b), in which Ossin names himself as the author 
under the appellation " The rJlind Guaire." Its subject is an 
adventure of Finn's with ghosts. ^1 Less ancient are also many 
other Mid-Irish poems recounting detached exploits and experi- 
ences of the Feinne, such as the poem " Dam thrir tancatur ille " 
(LL. 207b, 5), which describes a campaign of the Feinne against 
Norwegian pirates. Another, the " Tipra Sengarmna fo shnas " 
(LL. 197a ; BB. 377a, 50), on an adventure of Ossin's, is given 
to his brother, Fergus Finnbel (* Fair-Beard,' or as O'Grady reads 
it, ' True-Lips '), who is plainly spoken of as ' Fili Fhinn ' — ^Finn's 
Poet. This poem bdongs to the variously preserved topo- 
graphical work, Dindshenchas, ' Land-Lore,' as do also several 

^ That is to say, Those who did mighty, warlike deeds followed him as 
their leader. 

^^ A prose tale on the same subject is edited in the Rev. Celt. 13, 5, et aeq. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 285 

others, which derive names of pla>ce8 from Fenian warriors, and 
gave the occasion of the nomenclature, such as Ath-hag (LL. 
163b; BB. 394b), Cnamhross (LL. 195a; BB. 567b), Snim-da-en 
(LL. 203a, 2 ; cf. Kevue Celtique 13, 3, etc.). 

The foregoilig are the oldest existing Ossianic poems. Their 
age is the eleventh and twelfth centuries, though a few of them 
may be more venerable. In the ancient form of the myth, the 
eloquent singer, Fergus, stands forth as the chief bard of the 
Feinne, though now and again verses are ascribed to other heroes. 
But the later myth, as it is found in the modem Irish and Gaelic 
languages, has adopted Ossian as the last of the Feinne, and made 
him the bard who celebrates in song the deeds of his hunting and 
martial tribe. *2 Not, however, that he was the real author of 
one of the ballads attributed to him, but he became a prominent 
bardic figure in the myth. The more recent version of the 
legend, which, as treated by Mich. Comyn in a well-known Irish 
poem, represents Oschin as having outhved his friend, Cailte, and 
made a journey into the " Land of Youth," whence he returned, 
broken with years and sorrow, and Uved tiU the time of the holy 
Patrick. 43 in consequence, many of the modem ballads handed 
down orally and in writing since the end of the fifteenth century 
are addressed to this apostle, or take the form of dialogues be- 
tween him and Oschin. The old warrior is said to have at last 
accepted the new doctrine, and became Christian. ^ 

** The most ancient name of the bard is Ossin or Oisin (LL. 154a, 197b 
203b, 208a ; BB. 377a). The latter is the usual Irish form, and has in the 
south the accent on the second syllable : thus it is even copied as " Isheen." 
The import, if any, of the name is " the little deer." In North Ireland such 
formations were pronounced with the stress on the root vowel, so then 
" Oschin." The Scottish Gaels have sfone further, and given the diminutive 
affix an (instead of dn) to the word : Oisearif e.g.f Oschanj and this Macpherson, 
in his writing of it Oscian^ expresses as Ossian. 

*• According to an Irish poem in the Giessen MS. of D. Driscoll (Fol. 64b), 
the most renowned of the Feinne all reached an immense age, which yields 
little to that of the Jewish patriarchs. Thus — 

Dobhi saoghal Oisin mic Fhinn 

Tri ceud bliaghun go haoibhinn, 

Seachd mbliaghna deag fa dho, 

Mi seachdmhuin agus aon lo, 

Oisin, Finn's son, was in life, 

Happy, three hundred years ; 

To that twice seventeen years, 

A month, a week, and one day. 

**The surname of St Patrick, the son of Calpurnius, i/oc CoZpuirn, or 

Mac Cbalfniinn (Hardiman 2, 386), becomes next Mac Alprainn (Saltair, 

2364 ; Silva Gad., p. 95), or Mac Arpluin (Oss. 1, 96), or Mac Arphluin 

(4, 32), and then among the Scots takes the more familiar form of Moa: Alpm, 

286 Gaelic Society of /nuerness. 

This, then, is the Ossianic romance of the Gaelic heroic ballads. 
Its home is Ireland, but it has diffused itself not only to the West 
of Scotland and the Hebrides, but also to the Isle of Man. 45 

Our main concern here, however, is the heroic ballads of the 
Scottish Gaelic, and in the contents, form, and language of these 
we have constant reminiscences of their Irish prototypes, and 
especially many linguistic peculiarities which are quite foreign to 
the Scottish Gaelic of to-day. To the Irish ballads they have 
pretty much the same relationship as the Portugese romances to 
the Spanish, both of which also have often a common parentage. ^6 
The marvellous and the impossible are as prominent in these 
poems of the later time as in the Middle-Irish tales, but the 
former have not the like propriety in the details of description 
and action as in the historical and geographical nomenclature; 
and since the heroes are figures of the Irish legends preserved in 
an old and extensive literature, and the theatre of action is uni- 
formly in Ireland, the Scottish tradition is continually in special 
danger of confusion and distortion. So it confounds Conchobar 
and Conall, Emain and Tara, and for * Almhain,' that is, Allen, 
in the county of Kildare, it introduces the like-sounding and 
better-known * Albain,' that is, Scotland. In this process the 
ballads have lost sight of the standing of Finn Mac Cumaill under 
the Chief King of Ireland, and call him merely a King of Innisfail 
or Ireland; indeed, sometimes they entirely forget that Finn 
lived in Ireland and not in Scotland ; yet a real poet like Duncan 
Macintyre (" Poems," p. 204) actually lets us hear the skirl of 
the bagpipes in the hall of Finn, Goll, and Garadh. The ballads 
of the older romantic cycle are likewise in the end ascribed to the 
bard Oschin : names of the period of Cuchulinn are transferred to 
the Ossianic, and vice versa. ; but nevertheless the events of these 
two epochs are not in general jumbled together, as is the case in 
the poems of Macpherson. The primitive character and the 
deterioration of the legend, along with the greater or less purity 
of its language, afford us the most reliable tokens of the antiquity 
of these Ossianic metrical compositions. Their genesis, as already 
stated, dates back t6 the fifteenth century. The oldest are con- 

^ Songs of Osshin Mac Own are also to be found in the Manx, to accept 
the authority of Vallancey (" Vindication of the Ancient History of Ireland,'' 
Dublin, 1789, p. 551), and O'Conor (Dean's Book, p. Ixxxiv.). Unfortunately, 
no specimens are given. 

^ Compare, for instance, the Spanish romantic ballad, " Oh, Valencia ! oh, 
Valencia, de mal fuego seas quemada V* (Wolf and Hofmann 1, 176), with 
, the Portugese " Ai Valenca, guai Valenca, de fogo sejaa queimada l" (Har- 
ding 1, 8). 


Ossiania Heroic Poetry, 287 

tained in the so-called " Dean's Book," a collection of mcxlern 
Gaelic or Irish poems made by James Macgregor and his brother 
Duncan about 1512, the former the Dean of Lismore, an island 
in the county of ArgyU. Among them are twenty-nine Ossianic 
ballads, by which we mean those of the Cuchulion era as well as 
that of Finn,, and several are ascribed to Scottish bards of the 
time, as, for example, " Conlaoch " to the GiUie Galium Mac an 
OUav, " Froch " to the Keich O'Cloan, " Dermid's Death " and 
the " Battle of Gaiira " to Allan MacKorie. The authorship of 
other poems in the " Book " is unknown : in this list are 
"Maihre," "The Great Hunt," "The Sweetest Music," "The 
Faithless Women," " The Praise of Goll," " The Praise of Finn," 
" Qschin's Complaint," and " Oschin's Prayer," in an older form. 
This valuable book was pubUshed in 1862 by Thomas Mac- 
lauchlan (1816-86), ?.nd in 1892 it was re-published from the 
posthumous papers of the eminent Alex. Cameron (1827-88). 
The task was onerous inasmuch as the Dean had written down, 
not etymologically, the poems in his own language — already 
showing some Albano-Gaelic divergencies from the Irish — but 
phonetically, and even that irregularly, in accord with the pro- 
nunciation, and this was rather wide of the actual script style. 
To read correctly the cursive style of the text, and to transcribe 
it correctly into the orthography of he day, is a labour that has 
not yet been successfully accomplished, although the second editor 
made most admirable progress in this direction. A faultless 
reproduction of the venerable codex is yet very desirable. 

As the second oldest collection of Ossianic poetry, we cannot 
overlook that preserved in the Franciscan monastery at Dublin, 
although it is a pure Irish text — the " Duanaire Fhinn," " Finn's 
Song-Book," of the year 1627. Professor Zimmer called atten- 
tion to it. 47 Of its 69 songs, the first 56 belong to the most 
ancient poetry of the kind, and about a dozen of the poems are in 
print, among them " Derg " and " Ergan," " Oschin's Lament," 
" Oschin's Prayer," " Oscar's Battle-Song" (Oss. 1, 156), " GoU's 
Dirge" (Cameron 1, 365), etc. In aU the profusion of Fenian 
poems and tales m Irish, this manuscript is certainly the most 
important, and its text is estimated by Professor O'Curry to 
extend to 3000 printed quarto pagesj Little is available in print 
of the ballad wealth contained in the numerous later Irish manu- 
scripts : some have been edited by J. Walker in 1786, Charlotte 
Brooke (ob. 1793) in 1789, S. O'Halloran in 1790, Charles Wilson 

*7 Gottinger Gelehrte Anz^igen (1887, p. 172, et seq. 


288 Gaelic Society of inuerness, 

in 1792, Theoph. OTlanagan in 1808, J. Hardiman in 1831 ; and 
then in the Transaction of the Ossianic Society of Dublin, six 
poems by N. O'Keamey in 1854, two by St. H. O'Grady in 1857, 
and six in 1859, and an equal number in 1861 by J. O'Daly 
The selection which J. H. Simpson (" Poems of Ossian, Bard of 
Erin " : London, 1857) translated into prose is not so happy. A 
better one is that by Drummond in his " Ancient Irish Min- 
strelsy " (1852), but its metrical paraphrases give us no better 
conception of the antique original than the imitations of his 
predecessor. Miss Brooke. The Scottish Gaels are not so rich in 
Ossianic poetry, and they have no ancient manuscript thereof 
apart from the ' Dean's Book " ^8 • but in the last century they 
have shown praiseworthy zeal in recording the traditional lore. 
The most important part of this can be pretty completely surveyed 
in the " Leabhar na Feinne" ("The Book of the Feinne ") 
[Cb.] of J. F. Campbell, of Islay (1821-85), who in 1862, in the 
third volume of his " Tales of the West Highlands,'' published 
six Ossianic ballads, and had recognised how necessary for the 
establishment of more correct textual readings was the supplying 
of several specimens of original text. 'fiiis admirable work 
remained almost in abeyance for a long time, and not before 1892, 
from the literary remains of Alex. Cameron, did it get any sub- 
stantial furthereinoe. In addition to the 54,000 lines of Gaelic 
verse in Campbell's " Leabhar na Feinne " and the 16,000 which 
Cameron's " Reliquiae Celticae " may comprise, the Ossianic ballad 
poetry in Scotland has been supplemented by many minor pubh 
cations, so that the printed material available to the student for 
comparison and inspection, and of which I shall now give a 
cursory review, is by no means small. 

The first Albano^Gaelic collection of Ossianic poetical litera- 
ture waa made from oral delivery about 1740 by the Rev. Alex. 
Pope, in Caithnees. There are ten ballads in phonetic hand- 
writing, and the text is at times far from satisfactory ; as, for 
example, where Cuchulin, " the son of Semo " {" Mac Sedmh 
Sualtach " or " Mac Sheimhe," Cb., 222), is made a contemporary 
of Finn. Three of these ballads were afterwards transcribed in 
a more correct form by the Rev. Mr Sage, of Kildonan (Cam- I., 
393 et seq.). Of more value is the collection of Jeremy Stone, a 
schoolmaster in Dunkeld (ob. 1756), the first who gave, an English 

^ The Edinburgh manuscript*!, 36, 38, 48, 54, 62, and 65, from which 
Cameron published extracts in the " Reliquiae Celticae," are rather Irish than 
Albano-Gaelic. The Femaig Manuscript (c. 1693) offers only one Ossianic 
«ong (Rel. Celt., 2, 89 ; cf. 2, 333, and Cb. 106). 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry, 289 

versified imitation — "from the Irish,' as he said — of a Gaehc 
ballad, '' Frdch " ("Scots Magazine'' xviii., 1756, p. 15 et seq.). 
His ten ballads were taken down in tolerably correct form, and 
some years before the appearance of " Fingal " and " Temora," 
and are on the latter groimd worthy of attention. They were re- 
printed in 1889 by Professor Mackinnon (Gael. Soc., Inverness, 
xiv., 314 et seq.), and some of them were incorporated by the Rev. 
Mr Macdiarmid in 1762 in his holograph collection. 

It is probable that Macpherson's attention was drawn to the 
Gaehc popular poetry by 'Stone's imitation ; and after the appear- 
ance of the " Poems of Ossian " a universal interest in this class 
of Hterature was awaJkened. The first pubhshed contribution, to 
our knowledge, of the Ossianic ballads was given, however, only 
in 1782-83, by the Eghshman, Thorn. Ford Hill, in the " Gentle- 
man's Magazine," vols. 52 and 53, and in a special edition there- 
after in 1784 (again re-printed in the " Gaidheal" 6, 119 et seq., 
and, especially, Edinburgh, 1878). His texts of six ballads are 
very imperfectly written, and the appended translation is also 
often wide of the mark, but the honesty of the collection and his 
disinterested eiffort to arrive at truth in the controversy merit the 
fuUest commendation. After him comes the Irish bishop of 
Clonfert, M. Yoimg, who, in 1787, in the Transactions of the 
Dubhn Academy, pubhshed seven ballads along with several 
fragments of MacArthur's. His texts, like all the rest noted 
down in the Highlands, are very faulty, yet they are not without 
merit, and his translation (" Nerwly Discovered Poems of Ossian," 
rendered into German in 1792) is, on the whole, not bad. 

Of all the collections of Ossianic ballads made in Scotland in 
the last century, that of the Rev. Donald Macnicol (ob. 1802) 
gives us the best idea of the Scottish transmission of this poetry. 
It contains thirty ballads, and besides Hill's ballads in the 
" Ge^ntleman's Magazine," copies of texts which were current in 
the Highlands, and also among them, with some sHght deviations, 
the collection of Stone. Strange to say, Macnicol was a champion 
of Macpherson's " Ossian," and this accounts for the presence 
among his texts of some Gaelic translations of the English 
original. A more pohshed or more correctly written text is fur- 
ni^ed by the ballads of Archibald Fletcher in 1801 — ^in all 
twenty-one pieces. They are partly founded on Macnicol's, and 
their connection with the name of Fletcher is merely accidental, 
for (Report Appendix, p. 270) the passing remark is made that 
tliis somewhat ilHterate rhapsodist had learned all these balkds 
fifty years before, and was accustomed to recite them, ^esii Hid 


290 Qaelic Society of Inuerness, 

Macniool as a collector must be rated the Bev. James Maclean, 
of Blair-Atholl. He had an exceptional knowledge of Gaehc 
poetry, and was also a poet. Macpherson was indebted to him 
for some ballads, and among his extensive posthumous docu- 
ments were found texts of twenty-five Ossianic heroic ballads. 
The lexicographer, Peter Macfarlane, who had access to Mac- 
nicoFs and Madagan's texts, is credited with only fifteen poems ; 
these, however, of improved form in point of lar^fuage. 

Certain collections of Ossianic poetry from the North of Scot- 
land — Sutherland and Caithness — ^are noteworthy in respect of 
the ancient continuity of their direct oral transference. These 
are, besides that of the Rev. A. Pope's, already referred to, the 
eight ballads of the Rev. Mr Sage, of KJldonan (1802) ; the ten 
ballads of Sir George Mackenzie, not, however, in good condi- 
tion ; the nine poems of John Maodonald, of Ferintoah (ob. 1849), 
of which, following Campbell's first edition, Alex. Cameron (Gael. 
Soc. Inverness, xiiL, 270 et seq.) gave an amended reprint; and, 
lastly, some songs got by James Gumming in 1856 from Janet 
Sutherland, in Caithness. Cumming's manuscript, which was 
correctly written, came into the possession of Thos. Maclauchlan, 
and has been edited by Campbell. Much of special interest is 
also available in tlie not very copious collection made by Mac- 
donald of Staffa, in the Island of Mull, 1801-3. But by far the 
best authority on Ossianic poetry in Scotland in the last century 
was Duncan Kennedy, a native Gaelic-speaking schoolmaster at 
KUmelford, who put in writing two collections of ballads between 
1774 and 1783. The first series of twenty-nine would not have 
been a bad edition of these poems had he not to an unreasonable 
extent re-touched the material gathered by him from sources oral, 
and, it may be surmised, written and filled up the the intervals in 
the ballads by verses of his own composition. Later on, this 
gifted man, abandoning himself entirely to the Macphersonian 
influence, prepared a second edition of thirty ballads, in which 
those noted down earHer were radically altered; obscure words 
were replaced by more readily comprehensible, and not a little 
complementary poetising, mainly of the Macpherson order, was 
indulged in. In fact, some of the poems, even to the saga on 
which they are founded, are out and out his own manufacture. 
The credit, therefore, to which Kennedy is weU entitled for his 
industry and linguistic orthodoxy he himself in no small degree 
diminished. To Campbell we owe the most complete re-issue of 
these two collections. Some of their contents had already been 
published by Donald Smith (in the Report) in his selections from 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 291 

several collections, but his work is wanting in critical insight and 

The texts of twenty Ossianic ballads in the collection produced 
by the bookseller, J. Gillies, in Perth, 1786, are, comparatively 
speaking, carefully edited, but they also were subjected to mani- 
pulation, and here and there to accretions in the Maophersonic 
vein. This book, which was seen by Young, was one much read in 
the Highlands, and had in oonj^uence a predominating influence 
on all subsequent collections, especially so on that of the Kev. 
Alex. Irvine (circa 1801), whose forty ballads already reveal the 
deterioration of the text, and have Macphersonian additions. 
This is more noticeable in the seventeen ballads published by 
Alex. Cameron from the papers of the deceased Alex. Campbell 
of Portree, Isle of Skye : among them are, indeed, long poems of 
the Macphersonic cast. The text of the twelve poems collected 
by P. Turner are of much use (" EeUquisB Celticae " 2, 300 et seq.). 
Whatever real Ossianic material is contained in the Stewarts' 
poetical collection of 1804, it is badly disfigured by dehberate 
accessory composition of Macphersonic inspiration, just as the 
" Ossianic Poems" of the brothers Macoallum (1816), produced 
imder the supervision of Thomas Ross. The more recent ballad 
texts, such as those of J. F. Campbell, from collections made by 
himself, and the latest of all, published by John Grigorson Camp- 
bell, of Tiree (ob. 1891), in the fourth volume of his " Waifs and 
Strays of Celtic Tradition," conclusively prove that the tradi- 
tional preservation of 49 Ossianic poetry in Scotland is dying out. 

It is unquestionable that in earher days much more of this 
kind of material was to be foimd in Scotland and the Islands. 
Many of these ballads, shedding any modest artistic envelopment 
they had, have found their way into the popular *marchen' 
(' uragofll/ Middle-Irish ' airsodl '), the number of which is large, 
and the vitality apparently assured. 50 

One cannot avoid the general observation that the collected 
ballad literature of Scotland is in the main very defective in point 
of form — a respect in which the Irish texts are very much 
superior. Scottish transcribers, almost without exception, are 

^* Although the foregoing is a definite statement of the most important 
matter furnished by the Scottish tradition to the Ossianic poetry, yet there 
are individual collections as yet unedited, such as those of Malcolm Mac- 
donald, Macdonald of Brakish, General Mackay, Sir John Sinclair, and Stewart 
of Craignuish. 

^ Well known are the collections of J. F. Campbell (1860-62), Lord Archi- 
bald Campbell (1889), D. Macinnes (1890), and J. Macdougall (1891). Many 
other Gaelic tales are scattered through the magazines. 

292 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

but mdifferentiy versed in the rather difficult orthography of the 
GaeUc language, with the resiult that the prints above enumerated 
rae crowded with all sorts of errors of printing, writing, reading, 
and hearing. For a proper understanding, therefore, of these 
corrupt texts, a thorough Imguistio purgation is a prime requisite. 
In this philological labour Aleoi. Cameron creditably led the way 
in his careful edition of some ballads, and following him came 
Hector Madean, in Yna Ultonian hero-ballads (Glasgow, 1892), 
with six ballads of the older legendary cyde. Should the Gaehc 
language last a few generations longer, a critical edition of the 
Ossianic ballads would be a great desideratum, though the task 
is, in truth, an onerous one, in view of the countless host of 
variants, the debasement of the texts, and the indefiniteness of 
the linguistic forms. 51 

Chapter III. 

The poetry of the Ossianic era was at all times very acceptable 
to the national ta«te among the branches of the Gaelic race. On 
the authority of a Middle-Irish poem in the " Dindshenchas," we 
learn that at the ancient popular festivals, such as the annual fair 
at Carman, the " heroic exploits of Finn, of which the quantity 
was endless,'' and other tales were the standing entertainment of 
the crowd, 52 and so thoroughly did the mythical heroes occupy 
the papular imagination that we fbad their names attached to 
places all over the G-aelic-speaJdng area. So, when a striking 
feature in the landscape beara the name " Seat of Finn," or " Bed 
of Deimid and Grainne," imagination conjures up the figure of 
mighty giants who had their abode there in byegone days. As 
giants, Oiain and Cailte appear in the " Agallamh " to St Patrick 
and his oantemporaries (Silva Gad., p. 95 et seq.), and so also is 
Finn Mac Cumal distinguished by William Dunbar and Hector 
Boethius (" Sootonun Historia," Paris, 1574, p. 128b), and by 
William Buchanan in his list of divers rude rhymes," having the 
glorification of the hero as their taeme. 53 For the perpetuation 

** In the section of this article in the next number of the magazine, I pro- 
pose to give specimens of the Ossianic epic poems, revised by me and restored 
on the basis of the printed texts. 

•* Fta/nruth Find, fatk cen dochta, O'Curry, Manners 3, 542. Cf., Saltair 
725, 6687. F^ire 132. 

*^ In the Albano-Gaelic language iUinlan (a foi'm derived from the Dat. 
plur. HarUaibh of the word fiomn) was taken to mean " giants." Cf. Martin, 
** The Western Islands of Scotland" (London, 1703), p. 152, who writes .^cn^, 
\,e.^ fiantaihh (R. Macdonald, Collection 2, p. 131). 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 293 

of the heroic sagas we are indebted especially to the professional 
bards of the older times, and to sudi an extent did their art 
flourish ia the saxteenth century that they were regarded by J. 
Carswell, Bishop of the Islands, as an evil influence. In his pre- 
face to his Prayer-Book (Edinburgh, 1567), the first print ia the 
Gaelic, or, rather, the Irish, language in Scotland, he utters his 
complaint in the following words : — " Great is the blindness and 
darkness of sin and ignorance and understanding among com- 
posers and writers and supporters of the Gaelic, in that they 
prefer and practice the framing of vain, hurtful, lying earthly 
stories about the Tuath de lianand and about the Sons of Miled, 
and about the heroes and Finn Mac CunLhaiU with his giants; 
and about many others whom I shall not number or tell of here 
in detail, in order to maintain and advance these, with view to 
obtaining for themselves passing worldly gain, rather than to 
write and to compose and to support the faithful words and the 
perfect way of truth. For the world loves the lie much mere 
than the truth, proving how true it is which I say, that worldly 
men will give a price for the he, but will 'not listen to the trut^i 
when offered them for nothing." 

But the Ossianic mjrth was graven deep in the popular 
memory, and the transmission of the ballads was carried on up 
to our own century wherever Gaels met for recreation or pastime, 
or on convivial or solemn occasions, and often at oral competi- 
tions. This was the case alike in Ireland, Scotland, and the 
Islands. Eugene O'Curry, the distinguished Irish antiquary, 
tells, us, as a recollection of his earliest youth, how a certain 
O'Brien, a schoolmaster with a sonorous voice, often sailed out on 
the Lower Shannon with some friends, and there, over potations 
of whisky, entertained them with the singing of Ossianic songs. 
J. F. Campbell also describes the audience of a GaeUc rhapsodist 
on an autumn eveninsf in the Island of Barra, one of the Outer 
Hebrides. A woman was busy weaving in a comer of the hut, 
another carded wool, and a young maiden worked deftiy a distaff 
made of a rough forked birch branch and a spindle, which was 
nothing more than a bit of pine wood, while by the fire sat a 
pleasant, black-haired maiden, her brilHant dark eyes flashing 
through the peat smoke, and grown men and young lads, shortly 
before back from the fishing groimds, sat round smoking on 
benches by the wall, and hstened. A man, Alex. Macdonald, 
had taken a place on a low stool in the middle of the hut, and 
recited his songs, followed by fitting remarks from his hearers, or 
their exclamations of applause or sympathy. " Oh, oh V " Alas, 

294 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

how sad !" cried the women when the tragic story of Dermid, the 
son of Oduhne, wa« declaimed. 

The external form of these ballads — of whose melodies Sir 
John Sinclair and E. Bunting have given samples — is simple. 
The stanza, as generally in the older Irish versification, consists 
of four lines of simple and imiform sense, and containing seven, 
or sometimes eight Esyllables, which in the primitive and Middle- 
Irish ballad and literature were invariably merely connected, and 
not measured or balanced. The early poetry had also alliteration, 
the later only assonance — an iacomplete kind of rhyme based on 
a similarity of vowels. The assonance, or the like vowel, some- 
times occurs at the end of the first and second, as well as the end 
of the third and fourth lines. An illustration may be given from 
the Dean's Book — 

Mor an nochd mo chumha fein, 
A Thailginn a tha dom reir, 
Hi smuaintinn a' chatha chrz^aidh 
Thugamar is Oairbre crann-n^idh. , 

Great to-night is my sorrow, 

Talgin, friendly to me ! 

As I think of the fierce fight 

Against Cairbre of the red-handled spear. 54 

But in the majority of -_e poems where the second line is in 
assonance with the fourth, the end vowel of the first and third 
Hues is repeated inside the second and fourth lines respectively, 
e.g.: — 

Ard a shleagh mar chrann siwil 

Binne na teud ciuil a ghwth 

Sn^mhaiche do b' fhearr na Fraocli 

Cha clo 8h\n a thaobh ri srwth. 

Lofty his spear, like ship's mast; 
Like harp's music his voice. 
A better swimmer than Fraoch 
Ne'er gave his breast to the flood. 

This is the usual type of assonance with later Gaelic verse- 
makers : they never omit the inner or middle rhyme. 55 But the 

"^ Talgin was another name of St Patrick. 

^ The Middle High , German Poetry has similar caesural rhymes (of. Ger- 
mania 12, 120 et seq.), and still more, the Middle Latin. The Irish metres, 
one of which (Rannaigecht mh6r) is the basis of the second metrical form of 
the Gaelic folk-ballads have developed from the rhymed hexameters, especially 
Cavdutis, Leoninis^ Citocadis. Cf. W. Meyer, Sitzungsberichte der Miinchener 
Akademie 3, 70, et seq., 1875 ; and 1882, 1, p. 41 et aeq. 

OssLinic Heroic Poetry, 295 

ballads have suffered in various ways in the process of transfer- 
ence, especially the Albano-Gaehc, to such an extent that many 
stanzas have little, if any, assonance at all. 

A shorter line is rarely used in the popular ballads : we meet 
one in a song of the bard Fergus — 

Innis dhuinn, a Fhearghuis, 
Fhilidh Feinne JSireann ! 
Cionnas tharladh dhuinn 
An cath Ghabhra nan heumaiin. 

Tell us, Fergus, singer 
Of the Feinne of Ireland, 
How it fared us in the fight 
Of Gabhra of the blows. 

Still shorter lines of four syllables are foimd in the " Praise of 
OoU " 56_ 

Ard aignedh Ghuill 
Fear coguidh Fhmn 
Laoch leobhar lonn 
Thoghail nach t?om. 

High-spirited Goll, 
Foeman of Finn, 
Hero mighty and brave. 
Undaunted in the fray. 

Although the heroic ballads of the Ossianic epoch, of which 
Scotland can lay claim to about half-a-hundred, are the subject of 
many dissertations, and are edited in a variety of settings, yet 
they were known as a rule only to those conversant with the litera- 
ture of the Gaelic language, for only a part of them has been 
translated into EngHsh. Accordingly, some information as to 
their contents eind some specimens of their poetry ought to be 
welcome even to the student of general literature, and are likewise 
necessary to authoritatively support the statements in this article. 
Combat and war are the burden of the great bulk of these lays, 
expeditions and adventures of dangerous emprise, the hostile 
machinations and opposition of sorcerers and witches, and, not 
least, himting ajid sport. Few of the ballads give us an insight 

^ Apparently Macpherson had this song in his mind when, in Fingal JV. 
(p. 56, ed. 1762), he speaks of liis Battle-Song of Ullin— " It runs down like a 
torrent, and consists almost entirely of epithets." 

296 Gaeiic Society of Inuerness. 

into the domestic life of the heroes, whom the legend generally 
represents as having a wandering, unsettled life, but the almost 
universal theme is the death of the most outstanding heroes, the 
subsidence and ruin of the whole tribe, a^d the joyless old age of 
Oschin, the last survivor of nis race, who celebrates in song the 
renown of the departed heroes. 57 

As a preliminary to a closer consideration of the authentic 
Ossianic ballads, we have to deal with some from the mythical era 
of King Conchobar of Ulster, because Macpherson utihsed these 
for his " Ossian," quite obhvious of the consequent anachronism. 
The ballad of Froch the Dragon Slayer, whose usual GaeHc text 
is substantially that of the version in the Dean's Book, and of 
which J. Stone, in 1756, issued a long-winded paraphrase in ten- 
lined stazas, has for its foundation an ancient story in the Book of 
Leinster (p. 250a), which, however, lacks the tragical denouement 
so dear to the ballad-writer. Of the other Ultonian ballads pre- 
served in the Dean's Book, " Cuchulinn's Bird-Capture," " The 
Heads," and " Conlaech," we cannot overlook the lastj as it is 
important in every respect. It rests on the old legend, " Aiged 
Enfir Aifi," in the Yellow Book of Lecan, and on the " Tochmarc 
Emere " [translated by K. Meyer ia the " Archaeological Review, ' 
1, 302.] AocordLng to it, the renowned Cuchulinn learned the 
art of wai' from a heroine, Sgathach, in the Island of Skye . the 
mother and her daughter fell in love with the hero, and he espousal 
the cause of the former in a campaign against the Princess Aife. 
Her he vanquished, and thereafter she accepted his suit, and bore 
to him Conla after his return to Ireland. The father himself is 
said to have laid the strict injunction on Conla. that he should not 
reveal his identity to anybody, that he should not yield to any- 
body or refuse any challenge ; but, according to the ballad, it is 
the mother who imposed on Conlaech, 58 when he was setting out 
on an expedition, the concealment of his name and parentage. In 
strength and dexterity he surpassed all the heroes of Erin, and 
overcame the best of them, and even his father Cuchulinn, who 
did not recognise his son, was unable to win any success over him 
in the customary mihtary tournaments^ But at length he mort- 

^7 In the mythical cycle of King Arthur there is a ballad which is 
reminiscent of the Dream of Maxen Wledig in the Mabinogion. Seven versions 
of it are available— in Sinclair's " Clarsach na Coille" (Glasgow, 1881, p. 
263-5) ; in Campbell's " Leabhar na Fdinne " (p. 203) ; in Gaelic Society, 
Inverness (9, 67 et seq.) ; and in Alex. Cameron's " Reliquia) Celticfe " (1, 368). 

^ From the older form Conla comes " Conlaech " (" Conlaoch ") — not 
" Conmaol " as it stands in the " Journal des Scavants " (1764, p. 851). 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 297 

ally defeated Conla with the ' gai-bolga ' (bag-spear), the efficacy 
of which he had learned from herself, and is overwhelmed with 
grief when he discovers, from the Hps of the dying warrior and 
from a ring (the gift of Aif e, displayed by him), that he had done 
to death his own son. I do not regard it as demonstrable that our 
own ancient ballad of Hildebrand is, as H. D' Arbois Jubainville 
assumes, 59 a redaction of the Celtic myth ; on the contrary, 
reminiscences of it may be discernible in the later form of the 
German ballad, thotigh the latter has hot the tragical conclusion 
of the Irish. There the old man says to his son, " Now, tell me, 
thou much younger man, did a woman teauch you this stroke?" and 
the incident of the ring is thoroughly Irish, and occurs, for 
instance, in the Battle of Magh-Rath (ed. O'Dunovan, p. 72), 
while in the later German ballad Hildebrand lets himself be known 
to his wife by a ring which he drops into his goblet. Now, Mac- 
pherson's " Carthon " is only very generally related to the Gaelic 
ballad ; along with other modifications, he goes so far as to make 
it the father who conceals his own name, and his personages are 
the creations of his own unrestrained invention, 60 while in a note 
to the death of CuchulHn he describes Conloch as a good marksman 
" for his dexterity in handling the javelin." He turns, indeed, the 
whole story topsy-turvy. 

How little Macpherson understood of a Gaelic text is showD 
more clearly by the use of the ballad " Garw and Cuchulin," the 
difficulty of which he certainly makes confession in a letbe^r to 
Maclagan, 1761 (Report App., p. 154). This Albano-Gaelic 
poem, dating probably to the seventeenth century, tells how 
Garw, the son of Stam, arrived in Ireland with a powerful fleet to 
subjugate the land, and, though hospitably received by King 
Conchar, 61 in Tara (properly Emain '), he persists in his hostile 
intentions, and had, with the assistance of a traitor, Brichni, the 
famed Thersites of the Ulster Saga, already selected fifty royal 
sons as hostages, when Cuchulin challenged him and killed lum 
after a protracted combat. 

^^ " L' Epopde Celtique en Irlande," 1 , p. xxxiii. et seq. (1892). 

^ For CuchuUin Macpherson substitutes " Clesaammor " (a form recurring 
in the apocryphal ballads of Kennedy and k^mith), which was probably 
manufactured after the Cu nan cleas (Cuchulinn versed in feats) of the ballad, 
and while Conlaech's or Carthon's mother is called Mcina by him in Fingal 
(p. 18, ed. 1762). Conlaech's mother, left forsaken in the Isle of Mist 
{Eilean a' cheo or Skye), is quite arbitrarily called Bragdla. 

*^ The text gives wrongly " Conall " along with the spurious filiation 
" Mac Eidirsgeoil " already met with in the Dean's Book. 

298 Gaelic Society of Inuerness. 

Eirich, a righ 26 na Teamhra ! 
Chi mi 'n loingeas dolabhradh, 
Lomlan nan cuan clannach 
Do longaibh nan allmharach. 

'S breugach thu, dhorsair gu buadh, 63 
'S breugach thu 'n diu 's gach aon iiair ! 
'S e th' ann loingeas mor nam. Magh 
'S e teachd chagainn d'ar cobhair. • 

Arise, King of Tara ! 
Countless ships do I see ! 
Myriads on the billowy sea 
Of ships of the strangers. 

Thou liest, worthy door-guard, 
False to-day as ever ; 
For from Magh-Land oomes the fleet, 
To our assistance comes. 

These Hues, which were utilised later by Macphetrson for the 
opening of " Fingal," were given by him in the " Fragments," II., 
No. 14, in the following garb: — "Rise, Cuchalaid, rise! I see 
the ships of Garva Many are the foe, Cuchalaid ; many the sons 
of Lochlyn." " Moran ! thou ever tremblest ; thy fears increase 
the foe. They are the ships of the Desert of hills arrived to assist 
Cuchalaid.'' Garw, the son of Stam, later called Swaran by Mac- 
pherson, is besides quite a mythical personality spnmg from the 
legend of the most far back colonists of Ireland. In the Book of 
Lednster, p. 127a, we read — " co tancatur danna Staim assin 
Greic uathmair aegairb" (S tamo's sons have come from thje 
terribly savage Greece), 64 and it is noteworthy that the ballad 
has preserved the same words — 

''^ A variant is a chu, hence Macpherson's Cuchulaid as he writes for his 
later form, Cuchullin. The name reads properly Cuchulaind or Cuchulainn. 

•^ The texts give gu muddh, which stands for Irish go mhuadh. In H. 
Maclean's text in the Ultonian Hero-ballads there are certain phrases which 
are open to objection, eg,, Sta. 3, gun ealla instead of gunfheaU; Sta. 6, gun 
fkail instead of gun fhoil (without guile) ; Sta. 7, sonn catha na cloin 
Teamhrach means " the Battle-hero of the sloping Tara " (cf. Teagasc Jlaiha 
Sta. 15) ; Sta. 12, dronnadh ckeiid ior pronn cheud (a meal for a hundred), 
gun uirich for gu/n fkuireadh, Esraldh fc r Easruaidh, &c., &c. 

** Similarly in the Book of Fenagh, p. 60 — Co ticc clann in miled Sdaim 
asin Greg uallach ngairb. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 299 

Ma 's e 'n Garbh mac Staim a th' ann 
O'n Ghreig uamharraidli ro-ghairg, 
Bhedr e leis ar geill thair muir 
A dh' aindeoin fhear nam. fiann. 

If it be Garw, the son of Starn, 
From Greece, the terribly fierce, 
He will take our hostages over sea 
In spite of the Fenian men. 

Still another passage echoes the old text, thus : — - 

Fearghus mac Rossa mac Raigh, 

'N laoch a V airde dh. fhearaibh Fail, 

Cha b' airde Fearghus astigh 

Na 'n Garbh mac Staim 'na shuidhe. 

Fergus, son of Rossa, son of Roy, 

The tallest hero of Fail, 

Was no higher in the house 

Than Garw, Stam's son, when sitting. 

Fergus was, indeed, a colossal man, and a mighty eater, as we 
loBxn from Professor Windisch's recension of the taxt from LL. 
106b (Texte II., 1, 210). Macpherson was acquainted with this 
hero— note, " Fergus, first in our joy at the feast ! son of Rossa ! 
arm of death" (Fingal 1, 181). Cet mac Matach, also another 
knight of the Craeb Ruaid, i.e., the Palace of the Red Tree, 65 
appears in the ballad ; but we also meet with names such as Cailte 
and Cormac, which belong to the legendary cycle of Finn. Mac- 
pherson had the ballad in view in his " Fingal" 1, 70 et seq., 
where he writes for " mac mhic Chairbre o'n chraoibh ruaidh '' 
(the grandson of Cairbre of the Red Tree), " Cairbar from thy red 
tree of Cromla " ; for Aodh mac Gharadh a' ghluin ghil " (Adh, 
the son of Garadh of the White Knee), " Bend thy knee, O Eth " ; 
for "Caoilte ro-gheal mac Ronain, Fear-dian taobh-gheal ' 
(Cailte, white-shining, son of Ronan, and Ferdian of the White 
Side), " Caolt, stretch thy side as thou movest along the wliistling 
heath of Mora." 

A GaeHo poem on the war-chariot of Cuchulinn, with its two 
steeds — of which edited versions are given by J. Grant, the 
Brothers MacCalluni, in the Report (App., p. 204, et seq.), and by 
Jr. Macdonald (Gael. Soo., Inverness, 13, 288)— is founded on 

^ See Windisch, Irische Texte, p. 100 et seq. 

300 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

corresponding passages in Middle-Irish tales. 66 Macpherson's 
description in "Fingal" 1, 345, diverges greatly; so also does 
Cuchulinn's fight with Ferdia in his " FingEil" 2, 377, from tho 
Gaehc prose-tale from which he drew. 

The ballad of Deirdri — ^the wife, or, aooording to others, the 
betrothed, of King Conchobar (Conchar) — who was abducted \.y 
her lover, Naisohi, and his brothers, the three sons of Usnech, and 
who after their murder oommitted suicide over the grave of the 
brothers, is a product from two Middla-Irish tales, " The Banish- 
ment of the Sons of Usnech " and " The Death of the Sons of 
Usnech." The same is the source of a modem Gaehc tale to 
which reference is made in a poem dating from the beginning of 
the 18th century (Sinclair, The Gaehc Bards 2, 100). The tale 
was picked up in the island of Barra in 1867, and was published 
later (in Transactions Gael. Soc., Inverness, 1, 45 et seq., 13, 241 
etseq.), though not without factitious admixture of book learn- 
ing. 67 In this tradition we find the name of the heroine, 
Dearduil, from which Macpherson invented his Darthula, and the 
ballad shows a considerable departure in details from the version 
of the various stories. Macpherson's story is entirely his own 
fancdful creation, and he goes so far as to ignore the suicide i 
Derdri. It is depicted in the ballad as follows : — 

Shin i 'n sin a taobh r'a thaobh 
Agus chuir i beul r'a bheul 
Is ghabh i 'n sgian gheur 'na cridhe 
'S dh' fhuair i 'm bas gun aithreachas. 

«« See Windisch's Texte, p. 310 (— L.U., 122a); O'Curry, Manuers 3, 428 
(— LL. 83a}; E. O'Reilly, Essay, p. 220 (from the Brisleach Mhuighe 
Mhuirtheirabnc). In the name of one of the horses in Fingal 1, 345, Sulin- 
Sifadda, several of Macj>her8on*s defenders, such as Macnaughton, Jerram, 
and Nicolson (Proverbs, p. 141), find evidence that in writing the name so he 
had before him the Gaelic " original " of 1807 — '5 hu luath 'shiuhhalj Sithfada 
Ve 'ainm (swift was his pace, Sithfada was his name), as the appellation Sulin- 
Sifadda was wrongly compounded out of the real name Sithfada (long-pace) 
and the preceding word Shiubha-. (his step). Very likely ! ! Macphersan's 
Sulin-Sifadda seems rather to have been made up from acuoi-oUeanda sioth-fhada 
(well-bred, far-springing), after the reading in the Report App., p. 204). The 
correct name of the one horse is Liath-mhaiseach (in Irish, Liath-inacha), 
while the other, called by Macpherson Dusronnal, i.e., Duhh srbngneal^ is in 
Gaelic Duhli-sronmhor or Duhh-seimhinn (in the Dean's Book, No. 49, Dov^ 
seywlin), and in Irish, Duhh-fhadind. 

^ Thus it gives the word lin^eantuch (Inv. 13, 251), formed from the 
faulty reading, Alba cona lingantaibh (Rep. App., p. 298), instead of co n-a 
hingantaih (Irische Texte II., 2, 127). 

Ossianio Heroic Poetry. 301 

Side by side with him she lay, 

And fixed her lips to his, 

And drove the sharp knife to her heairt. 

And died without regret. 

The ballad is translated in Hector Madeaa's volume, and the 
prose tales in that of D'Arbois de Jubainville. 

The whole foregoing ballads of the Ulster mythioal period are 
not properly Ossianic, but long before Macpherson it was for- 
gotten in Scotland tJiat they deal with a time almost three 
hundred years before that of Finn Mao Ouwal. Even the Gaelic 
balladg which bear the name of Ossian are disfigtired by marked 
anachronisms, and so it happens that many of those which I 
treated first have for their historical background the invasion of 
the Lochlanns or Norwegians, the national calamity which visited 
Ireland in the period between the ninth and eleventh centuries. 
One of the most widely known of the ballads refers to Magnus 
Berfaeta, son of Olaf, son of Aralt, the Norwegian King, who 
overran with war the Western Islands in 1090. 68 He then 
landed in Ulster, attacked and plundered Dublin, and then made 
for Connaug-ht, but at last he lost his life in a fray (' ar creoh '), 
and his fleet thereupon returned home. This ballad, traditionally 
preserved both in England and Scotland, and probably of 17th 
century origin, is, as a poem of Ossian, addressed to St Patrick, 
and is prefaced by the following stanzas : — 

A ohleirich a chanas na sailm, 
air leam f ein gur borb do diiall ; 
nadh eisd thu tamull ri sgeul 
air an fheinn nach fhac thu riamh ? — 

Air mo chubhais^, mhic Fhinn, 
ge binn leat teachd air an fheinn, 
fuaim nan salm air f eadh mo bheoil 
gur e sud is ceol domh fein. — 

Ni bi tu comhadadh do shalm 

ri fiannachd Eirinn nan arm nocihd ! 

a chleirich, gur Ian olc leam 

nadh sgarainn do cheann ri d' chorp. — 

^ The Scalds, or old Scandinavian poets, celebrate this campaign (v. Vig- 
fusson and Powell, Corpus poeticum boreale 2, 244). Cf. also Zeitschriff fiir 
deutsches Altertum 35, 32. 


5Cr2 Gaelic Society of Inoemess. 

Sin fid d' chomrakh-sa^ fhir rnhoir. 
laoidh do bheaQ gar bum leam f ein ; 

bu bhinn learn teadid air an fheiTin. — 

Nam biodh to, a dileirich chaidh, 
air an trag^ tha siar £a dheas 

ag VjiJ^ Jfai p^iAATi 69 Tiaji smth. sprmti, 

air an fli«Ttn bu mbor do mheas. 

The poet goes on to recount how King Magnus of Lochlann 
arrived with a powerfnl fle^ and donands^ as a token <^ sab- 
mission, through the bard Fergus, who had gone to meet him, 
nothing less than the wife of King Finn (Fingal), and his favourite 
dog. Bran. ^^J Finn's answer f 

Chaoidh cha tngainnse mo bhean 
do dh' aon neach ata fo 'n ghrein^ 
's cha mho bheir mi Bran gu brath. 
gas an teid am bas 'na bheuL 

After the heroes of the Feinne have, in fall expectation of vict<Hy, 
arranged among themselves respectivdy combats witii the indi- 
vidaal Scandinavian princes, 71 Finn says — 

'' Belribh beannachd s beiribh buaidh ! ' 
thairt mac Camhaill nan graaidh dearg, 
'' Magnus mac Mheatha nan sloagh 
coisgear leam, ge mor a fhearg.'* 

*♦ iuiilni\A\ of NU« Laighean, a place in County Kildare (0>s. 4, 48). From 
the erroiieouH variants £a9 Uwighaire, Laoire, have sprung •' Lora " and Mac- 
pherson'g " Battle of Lora," aA he calls another of his poems. 

"*' Maciihemon'u setting of Swaran's challenge to Cuchullin is " Give thy 
Hijouse and dog" (Fingal 2, 183). As a matter of fact, Magnus sent his sho^ 
U) the Irish King, Murtcertach, with the behest that the King should pla^^ 
them on his shoulders in the presence of the messengers. He obeyed, accord - 
t() some ; accerding to others, he declined. 

'^ This is reproduced with tolerable fidelity by Macpherson in Kngal 4 
382-97. He renders the last stanza—" Blest and victorious be my chi^ said 
Fingal of the mildest look. Swarar, king of the roaring waves, thou art the 
choice of FmgaL" Compare, Battle of Magh Leana, ed. O'Curry, p. 114 &c 
The Connal mentioned by Macpherson is wanting in the authentic texts ' but 
a strophe dealing with this personage is incorporated in the Gillies edition of 
the ballads. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 30a 

Next morning the Lochlanns advance, and the Feinne move to 
meet them — 

Thog sinn Dealbh ghreine ri crann, "72 
bratach Fhinn bu gharg an treas, 
's i lomlan do chlochaibh 'n or, 
agaione bu mhor a meas. 

The Feinnes' expectations are 'realised, and the Loohlanns are 
scattered in flight — 

Thachair mac Cmnhaill nan cuach 
agus Maghnus nan mag aigh 
ri cheil' an tniteam an ^uadgh, 
's a chleirich, bu chmaidh an dail. 

Gu'm bu sud an tuirhn teann 

mar dheann a bhedreadh da ord, "^^ 
cath fuileachdach an da righ, 
gu'm bu ghuineach brigh an oolg. 

Air briseadh do 'n sgiathaibh dearg 
's air eirigh d'am feirg is fraoch, 
thilg iad an airm sios gu lar 
's chaidh iad an spaim an da laoch. 

Nuair a thoiseach stri nan triath 
's ann leinne bu chian an clos ; 
bha dachan agus talamh trom 
a moegladh fo bhonn an oos. 

''2 Only in this solitary line does the Gaelic " Ossian " of 1807 (Fingal 4 
300) agree with the ballad. Rut in Macpherson, and generally in the more 
modern Gaelic texts, Fingal's famed banner is called deo-ghreine (Fingal 1, 
647 ; 2, 239 ; Cb., 76 ; Macintjrre.. p. 204), is wrongly interi)reted sunbeam, 
and in this sense the word is used by modern poets (Smith, Sean dkna, p. 41 ; 
Munroe, An t-Ailleagan, p. 41). The Dean's Book gives the correct rname, 
dalwe zreynithy " the image of the sun." Among the Irish the banner is also 
geal greine (Brooke, Relics 1, p. 275), or gal greine (Relics 2, p. 408 ; O'Flana- 
gan, Deirdri, p. 77 — therefore the same also in Moore's Irish Melodies), or gath 
greine (O'Flanagan, p. 237), ov gile greine (Walsh, Irish Popular Songs, p. 58 ; 
also Cb. 197a, 107a). 

^* Macpherson has imitated this combat in his Fingal, p. 62, ed. 1762 — 
Fingal 5, 42-62, " There was clang of arms ! there every Wow like the hundred 
hammers of the furnace ! Terrible is the battle of kings, and horrid the look 
of their eyes. . . . They fling their weapons down. Each rushes to his 
hero's grasp. . . . But when the pride of their strength arose, they shook 
the hill with their heels," and so on. 

304 Gaelic Society of inuerness. 

*Leagadh righ Lochlainn an aigh 
am fiadhnuis chaioh air an fhraooh 
's airsan, ge nach b' onair righ, 
chuireadh ceangai nan tri chaol. 74 

Sin nuair labhair Conan maol 
mac Moma, bha riamh ri hole : 
" Oumaj: riimi Maghnus nan lann, 
gu'n sgarainn a cheanri ri ohorp !" 

" Chan 'eil agam oairdeas na caomh 
riutaa, Chonain mhaoil gun fhalt ; 
o tharladh mi 'n gra&aibh Fhinn, 
's annsa learn na bhi fo d' smachd." 

" O tharladh thu m' ghrasaibh fein, 
chan iomair mi beud air flath, 
fuasglaidh mi thusa o m' fheinn, 
a lamh threun a chuir mor chath. 

" 'S gheibh thu do roghainn aris. 
nnair a theid thu do d' thir fedn, 
cairdeaa is oomunn do ghnath 
no do lamh a chur fo 'n fheinn." 

" Cha chuir mi fa d' fheinn mo lamh, 
'n cian a mhaireas cail am chorp, 
cha toir mi buill' ad aghaidh, Fhinn, 
's aithreach leam na rinn mi orb." 

The perfidy of King Magnus, an accretion to this ballad from 
the popular legend (Campbell, Tales 3, 364 et seq.), has been 
embodied in his text by Kennedy in verses of his own composition. 
But there is a separate ballad regarding an expedition of Finn to 
Lochlan, undertaken on a treacherous invitation to him by King 
Magnus to set his daughter free, to whose courage alone it was due 
that the Feinne escaped the annihilation devised for them. 75 
For Macpherson'a story of the fictitious Agandecca (Fingal 3, 14 
et seq.), there does not seem to be any other basis, and the ballad 
which speaks of a sea voyage only in a late recension ^Campbell's 
P.) has been imperfectly transmitted, and doubtless referred 

''* That is, the wrist, ankle, and neck-joint. Sometimes ^^fe " narrows " 
are counted. 

^' The Book of Howth (sixteenth century) recognised the ballad. See 
Hammer's Chronicle, p. 31, ed. 1809. 

Ossianic Hetoic Poetty. 305 

originally only to an expedition to Leinster (* Laighean leathan '), 
and not at all to Lochlan. 

The very well-known ballad of Ergan — another King of Loch- 
lan — ^who came to Ireland to avenge the abduction of his spouse 
by one of the Feinne, called the " Teanndachd mhor na Feinne " 
(the great distress of the Feinne), originate, at the latest, in the 
begiiming of the 17th century. 76 it furnished Macpherson with 
the material for his " Battle of Lora," but it is not necessary to 
indicate in detail tlie superficial way in which he made use of it, 
as Frau Xalvj has provided us with a striking illustration of this 
in her pubHoation founded on the translation of her contemporary, 
Young. One example, however, may be allowed. Among the 
presents offered by the Irish King's daughter to the King of 
liochlan by way of atonement, Macpherson mentions — " A 
hundred girdles shall be thine to bind high-bosomed women ; the 
friends of the births of heroes, and the cure of the sons of toil." 
In the later edition he turns ' women ' to ' maids,' which is cer- 
tainly no improvement. Moreover, there is not the faintest sup- 
port in the words of the ballad for the " sanctified girdles " on 
which he so learnedly dilates — 

Gheabhadh tu sud is ceud crio®, 
cha teid slios mu'n tedd iad bas, 
chaisgeadh iad leathtrom is sgios, 
leug riomhach nam bucal'^'^ ban. 

In another ballad, dealt with by Alex. Cameron in the " Scot- 
tish Celtic Eeview," 1885, the mythical narrative of the 
Mulertach^S is linked with a campaign against the Lochlanns. 
From the Kingdom of Lochlan comes to Erin's coast a female 
monster, who sfummons the Feinne to fight. Finn overcomes and 
kills her, and the King of Lochlan comes to Ireland with a mighty 

7* The argument of the Irish ballad has been published by W, Halliday in 
his Grammar of the Gaelic Language, 1808, p. 133. 

^ Bucal, hucail, is the English " buckle "— e.g., Sinclair, The Gaelic Bards 1, 
153 ; 2, 149 ; also in Irish, bucladha hrd^, shoe-bucles, Hardiman 1, 338 ; 
buclaidhy Merriman, Vs, 371 ; bwlaoi, Vs, 391. 

78 MuUeartach, or MuirearUwh (masc. gen. in only a few texts), appears to 
import " terrible phantom." Cf. Campbell, The Fians, p. 69 ; Mackenzie, 
Beauties, p. 2>J6b ; W. Ross, Poemp, p. 32, ed. 1877. The Irish apnals of about 
900 a.d. mention a monstrous merpaaid which came to the coast of Scotland : 
cf . Stokes, Book of Lismore, p. xlii, Of warrior ipaideps awd witches there are 
stories elsewliere : cf. Todd, Wars of the G^edhil wjth th^ Gall, p. 40 ; Silva 
Gadelica, p. 300. 


306 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

fleet to avenge the death of his kdnswoman, tlie Mulertach. As 
he rejects the rich presents Finn tenders him, the Feinne, with 
their banners flying, advance to give him battle, 79 and at Benn- 
Edir (the Hill of Howth) the King's forces are to a man 
annihilated, and he himself is slain by Oscar, the son of Finn. 
The ballad is not of great age, and is not, it appears, Iriiown to 
the Irish. Maopherson was also ignorant of it, or passed it by 
as of too barbaric type. 

The more common subject of the Ossianic poems is the fights 
against individual powerfid heroes who came to the Irish coast, 
and generally they came from Lochlan, as the world of the bard 
is sinalL Among them are " Derg," " Conn," " the savage 
Maihre," " Illan, the Prince of Spain," and others. To this 
category belongs an old familiar Irish poem, of probably the 
16th century, 80 the Ballad of Dearg, the son of Drewil, who came 
out of Lochlan to Ireland, and after defeating two hundred war- 
riors of King Cormac and an equal number of auxihary Feinne, is 
killed by Goll. That ascribed to the minstrel, Fergus, has a 
perceptible propriety in its description of the action and its 
concomitants, and is accordingly honoured in the Scottish Gaelic 
proverb (Nicolson, Proverbs, p. 189, 414) as the masterpiece of 
its class. Better known in Scotland is a ballad edited by Young, 
the Ballad of Conn, the son of Derg, which seems to be a redaction 
of the Irish one of the same name, and took form also among the 
Gaels of Scotland probably at the end of the 17th century. Conn, 
a more redoubtable hero than his father, came, it says, to Ireland 
to obtain satisfaction from the Feinne for his death. The 
minstrel, Fergus, goes to meet him to find out his intentions, and 
the hero answers — 

" Innseam-sa sin duit gu beachd, 
Fhearghuis, agus buin e leat, 
eirig m' athar b' aill leam uaibhse, 
o'r mathaibh 's o'r mor uaislibh. 

" Ceann Fhinn is a dha mhic mhoir, 
GhuiU, Chriomhthainn agus Gharadh, 
's cinn chlann. Moma gu huile 
fhaotainn an eirig aon duine. 

^^ The enumeration of the bannerB of the Fenian Chiefs belongs, to judge 
from the rhyme formation, co this ballad, and not to that of Magnus or Ergan. 

^ La guerre ou la descente de Dearg, fils de Diric, roi de Lochlin, in the 
Journal des Scavants, 1764, p. 847 et seq., mentions it. The poem is edited 
and translated by the MacCallums, but is falsified throughout. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 307 

" No' Eirinn o thuinn gu tuinn 
a gheallachdainn do m'aon chuing, 
no coig ceud d' ur fine 'maireadi 
gu comhrag mear diobhalach." 

Fergus brings back the serious news, and the story goes on — 

'S e thuirt ooig ceud d'ar fine : 
" Caisgidh sinn a luath mhire !" 
Cha robh and doibh mar a radh 
ri dol anns an iomarbhaigh. 

Ri faiosinn doibh confhadh Chuinn 
mar onfhadh mara le tuinn 
agus f alachd an fhir mhoir 
an ooinneamh athar a dhioladh ; 

'S a thuirt Conan maol mac Mom : 
" Leigear mi thuige cheud oir ! 
'9 gu'm buininn an oeann amach 
do Chonn dimeasach uaibhreach." 

" Marbhaisg ort, a Chonain mhaoil ! 
nach sguir thu do d'lonan chaoidh? 
oha bhuineadh tu n ceann do Chonn !" 
'S e thuirt Osgar nam mor ghlonn. 

Aoh ghluais Conan le mhicheill 
dh' aindeoin na f einne gu leir 
an comhdhail Chuinn bhuadhaich bhxais 
mar char-tuathal m' a aimhleas. 

Nuair ohonnairc Conn bu chaoin dealbh 
Conan a dol an sealbh arm, 
thug e sitheadh. air an daoi, 
's e teicheadh dhachaidh gu falbh uai'^. 

'8 iomadh cnap ia bailc ia meall 
bha 'g atadh suas air droch ceann 
air maol Chonan gu reamhar, 
's a choig caoil 'san aon cheangal. 

'S iomadh sgread is iolach chruaidh 
bb' ag Conan am fiadhnuis an taluaigh 
bu luaithe na fuaim tuinn' a teachd, 
's an fhiann uile 'ga eisdeachd. 

308 Gaelic Societq of Inverness, 

" Beannachd air an laimh rinn sin !" 
's e labhair Fionn a chruth ghil, 
" gu ma turns dhuit gun eirigh, 
a Chonain dhona mhicheillidh !" 

But when it comes to close quarters, Conu's sup«iority is 
conspicuous. He causes great devastation among the Feinne, 
none of whom was his equal. At this critical juncture Finn 
pleads with GoU, the moet valiant of the tribe of Moma, to dose 
with Conn — 

'N sin chaidh Goll 'na chulaidh chruaidh 
ann am fiadhnuis a' mhor shluaigh, 
's gu'm bu gheal 's dearg gnuis an fhir 
'na thorc garg dol 'n tus iorghaill. 

An da churaidh bu gharbh cith 
ohuir iad an tulaoh air bhall-chrith 
le 'm beumannaibh bu leoir meud 
'a bha 'n fhiann uile 'g an coimhead. 

Otth fola do chnamhaibh an corp, 
cith teine do 'n armaibh nochd, 
cith ceiloe do 'n sgiathaibh 'n aigh 
dol siar anns na iarmailtibh. 

So they fought into the night, and when the flood oome down, 
and the douds lowered, elves came out of the mountains, wonder- 
ing and delighting. At the end of a long struggle Conn falls, but 
GoII hafi received wounds from which he takes a long time to 

Qte^ eibhinn gu 'n d' rinn an fhiann 
nach d'nnneadh leo roimhe riamh 
ri faicinn doibh Ghuill mhic Moma 
an uaohdar air Conn treun-todreach. 

N&oi raidhean do Gholl an aigh 
'g a ledghaas mu'n robh e skn, 
ag eisdoachd oeodl dh' oidhcih' 's do la 
's a pronnadh oir fo tbrom-dhaimli. 

Neither of the ballads just referred to were used by Mac- 
phereon, but " !^aiiire " and "IJlan" were, and they have a 
similar relation to 6n0 anothea:. '' Maighre-borV edited and 
translated by Alex. Cameron in the " Scottish Celtic Rerview," 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 30i> 

1882, is an ancieat poem, which is found both ia the Dean's Book 
and in the Irish. Once upon a time Fiiln, the son of Cuwal, witli 
a amall retinue, was staying at Esroy, when a royal maiden, 
daughter of the King of Wave-land, landed from her skiff, and 
implored him for protection against a knight of the name of 
Maihre-borb, the Prince of Sorcha. Straightway her persecutor 
presents himself on horseback, and tries to take her away, but, 
after a desperate combat, he is slain by Goll, and is buried on the 
spot, with a ring on each finger as a token of regal dignity. The 
maid remains with the Feinne as Finn's wife for the space of a 
year. By the ' tir fa thuinn ' (the land under the waves), which 
later poets use as a name for the nether-world (Hardiman 2, 231 : 
Cb. 160a), is meant a fable-land overwhelmed by the sea (cf. e.g. 
Silva Gad., p. 268), and in this submerged world lies the coimtry 
of the hero Sorcha, properly the ' Land of Light ' — another attri- 
bute of the ' Land of Promise.' So we meet it in the Middle-Irish 
texts, e.g., Windisch, p. 219; LL. 77b, 19; Silva Gad., p. 269, 
300. The Battle of Illan is an Albanogaelic imitation of the 
" Maihre," of about the seventeenth century, and depicts the 
advent among the Feinne of a beautiful maiden, who had come 
over the ocean-plain to seek refuge wjth Finn against Illan, the 
son of the King of Spain. Her persecutor appears on the scene, 
attacks the Feinne, and kills, along with many of them, the 
maiden herself, but he himself falls in combat with Oscar, the son 
of Oschin. The tale is narrated by Oschin to Patrick, the son of 
Alpin, and begins thus— ;- 

Oisin uasail, a mhic Fhinn, 

's tu ad shuidhe air 'n tulaich eibhinn, 
a laoch mhoir mhihdh nach meata, 
gu'm faic mise bron air th' inntinn. 

Cuid do dh' aobhar mo bhroin fein, 
a ohleirich, ma's aill leat, eisd : 
chunnairc mi uair teaghlach Fhinn, 
bha e mear mor meadhrach eibhinn. 

This more modern ballad was translated by Maopherson in 
the " Fragments " of 1760, p. 26 et seq., in his own style—*' Son 
of the noble Fingal, Oscian, prince of men ! What tears run down 
the cheeks of age? What shades the mighty soul?" — " Memory, 
son of Alpin, memory wounds the aged, of former times are my 
thoughts ; my thoughts are of the mighty Fingal." In " Fingal " 
(Bk. 3, p. 45, ed. 1762) both ballads were amalgamated and con- 


310 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

founded in tke story of the ' Maid of Craca ' (probably instead 
of ' Greig/ as one tekt gives it — not * creag/ for ' carraig/ rock, as 
J. Smith and Alex. Campbell assert), and in this arbitrary com- 
position of Macpherson's Fingal slays Borbar (MaighrenBorb), 
the Chief of Sora (Sorcha) and the persecutor of Faineasollis, who 
is represented as arriving by ship. Similar to the ballads regard- 
ing the hunted maiden is the Irish one on Tailo mac Trepin, first 
published by OTlanagan, and the tale of Behind in the Agallamh 
(Silva Gad., p. 211 ; Zeitschrift fiir Deutsches Altertum 33, 269 
et seq.). 

I pass over some ballads on the martial adventures of the 
Feinne, such as the Exploits of the Nine and the Six, the Death 
of Diring, 81 and others, of which onlv recensions of the eighteenth 
century are available. There are also several, of pretty modem 
origin, on witches and sorcerers. The spell of Eoc, a wicked 
runner of the Court of King Cormac, could be broken only by his 
being overtaken in the race, and Finn himself overtook him at 
Esroy, and put him to death (Cb. 64b). Lon, the smith of the 
King of Lochlan, in Berwe, is the Wieland of Gaelic legend, and 
a ballad brought to light by Campbell in his " Tales " recounts 
how the one-footed Lon once on a day led Finn and his seven 
companions to his sequestered smithy, and there forged for them 
all eight magnificent swords. Thereupon Finn was chosen by lot 
to fetch a human being, in whose blood the swords were to be 
tempered. He fetches the mother of the unearthly artificer, who 
at once drives the seven blades through her body. But with the 
weapon prepared for him Finn pierces the smith himself, and so 
tempered is his own wonderfid sword thereby that thereafter it 
could not be stayed in its stroke, and left not a scrap of human 
flesh behind. As the " Son of Lon ' 82 it has a highly-renowned 
place in mythical story. This poem, which is ascribed to Oschin, 
is native to Scotland, and is not ancient. 

8^ "Bering" is the name in the Dean's Book, 26, 14 ; " Diorraing,*' Oss. 2, 
120; "Duibhrinn," Silva Gad., p. 100; " Dhira," Oss. 6, 22; in the later 
Scottish texts, "Diurag," " Diarag" (Ch. 219 ; Cam. 1, 398 ; Ch. 112; 
In vera. 13, 297). 

82 Cf. Nicolson, Gaelic Proverbs, p. 95, 388 ; Alex. Macdonald, Poems, p. 
98 ; Co. 180, and in the Irish ; Oss. 3, 90 ; Texte II., 2, 144. Macpherson is 
correct in his " That sword is by his side which gives no necond wound" 
(Temora 1, 70), but there is likewise the very surprising statement on ".Luno" 
in Temora, p. 120, ed. 1763. It is, however, pi obable, that Mac an Luin had 
its origin in the luin Celtchair^ the spear of Celtchair, a hero under King 
Conchobar ; cf. Henoessy, Mesca Ulad, p. xiv. etseq. In the Agallamh Finn's 
side-sword is called Craebghlasach (Silva Gad., p. 142). 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 311 

Of the hunting ballads — of which more have been preserved 
in Ireland than in Scotland — the most celebrated is the great 
hunt on the " Mountains of the Fair-Haired Women/ in County 
Tipperary. Its oldest text is that of the Dean's Book, and it 
reminds us of Bede's description of Ireland : " Hibemia dive© 
lactis ax5 meUis insula . . . cervorum venatu insignis." 

Do leigeamar tri mile cu 

a b'fhearr luth 's a bha garg ; 
mharbh gach cu dhiubh sin da fhiadh 
seal fa 'n deachaidh an iall na hard. 

loghnadh 's mo a chunnacas riamli 
no chuala fiann Innse-Fail, 
gu *d' mharbh Bran is e 'na chulein 
fiadh agus uibhir ri oach. 

This ballad was known to Macpherson. In " Fingal " 6, 350, 
he ' translates ' the two stanzas, of which the second, at least, 
was taken from the Kennedy text, as follows: — "A thousand 
dogs fly off at once, gray bounding through the heath. A deer 
fedl by every dog, three by the white-breasted Bran." In another 
passage he speaks of the ' hairy-footed ' Bran (Temora 6, 296). 
This renowned favourite of Finn, whose victory over a powerful 
* black dog ' of Innistorc (Orkney) is depicted in another ballad 
(translated by Macdougall), 83 was thrashed to death with a 
braaen-buckled strap by one of the Feinne in a tussle, and was 
mourned with great grief by his master. The poem which 
describes him has been edited by HiU — 

Casa buidhe bha ag Bran, 
da shlios dhubha is tarr geal, 
druim uaine mu'n iathadh an tsealg, 84 
da chluais chorracha chro-dhearg. 

Bu mhath e thabhunn dobhrain duinn, 
is cha mheas e thoirt eisg a habhainn, 
gu'm Vfhearr Bran a mharbhadh bhroc 
na coin an talmhainn a thainig. 

^ A poem in LL. 207b, 5, tells of a celebrated dog of the King of Norway ; 
against it no adversary prevailed. It shone like a torch in the night, and 
turned into mead or wine the water in which it bathed (cf. Silva Gad., p. 206), 

^ Text uncertain : cf. D. Mackintosh, Proverbs, 1785, p. 65 ; O'Flanagan, 
Deirdri, p. 215 ; and Caraid nan Gaidheal, ed. Clerk, p. 347 ; Nicolson, 
Proverbs, p. 347. 

312 Gaelic Society of inuerness. 

Among the later ballads special to Scotland we oan also oount 
the two adventures of Cailte, the son of Ronan, the fleetest, we 
are told, of all the Feinne. The first, describing a boar hunt, 
begins — 

Latha dhuinne sealg nan Cliianan 
do dh' Fhionn is do mhor shlnagh 
dh' eirich romhainn air an leirg 
aon mhuc dhisgearnach dhonna-^ihearg. 

Leig sinn ar se lomhainn deug 
ris a' mhuic agus ni'm breug, 
chuir a' mhuc dith air ar conaibh, 
13 dh! fhag i ar sealg gun deanamh. 

Finn thereupon offers, as a reward for the destruction of the 
dire boar — " a reward he never again offered " — a wife to be 
freely chosen from among the wives of the Feinne. Cailte over- 
takes the charmed beast, slays it with the help of his good fairy, 
and becomes entitled to the wife of Finn, the wise Alwe, or an 
immense ransom instead of her (cf. Silva Gad., p. 114). The 
story of the other ballad of Cailte teUs how the Feinne, overtaken 
in the chase by a sudden storm, wander further and further astray, 
and at last send out Cailte in search of a path. In a remote 
solitary dwelling he discovers the daughter of a king, and frees 
her from the durance of a giant, whom he slays after a stout fight 
(cf. Silva Gad., p. 136). The ' Lament for Dearg," who, accord- 
ing to the myth, was killed by a boar, is a short Albanogaelic 
poem in the style of the Irish * caoinan ' (keening), and professes 
to be recited by his widow. It dates from the eighteenth century, 
and deserves mention here because Macpherson, in a note to his 
"Calthon and Cohnal" (p. 223 et seq., ed. 1762), gives a very 
free paraphrase of it. 

In the Ossianic poetry, women, as a rule, play no important 
role. The poem on Oschin's courtship, which Macpherson has 
rendered with unusual fidelity, 85 and interwoven in his " Fingal '* 
4, 13-74, with great art, is, in the form published by Young, not 
of ancient origin, and is a conglomeration of two incongruous 
texts. The primitive text is embodied in the legends, and Sir 
Geo. Mackenzie has some older stanzas. The old ballad of the 
Mantle (Cam. 1, 76, 116) does not afford us a high conception of 
the modesty of the wives of the Fenian heroes: it is, however, 

8^ The Gaelic of 1807, translated of course, from the English, is quite 
different from the ballad text, e.g., Daire nan creuchda (" Durra of wounds") 
becomes Diira nan lot. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 313 

only the Gaelic sefcting of the fable of the " Badly-Cut Mantle." 
A poem, " Sgeul uaigneaoh," in the Dean's Book, which might 
justly be called "the sweetest music," may be ranked with the 
best of the Ossianic. Its interpretation is not yet, however, quite 
settled. While Conan finds his dehght in the sound of the dice, 
Oscar in the bloody fray, MacLuhach in the chase, Finn in the 
fluttering of his heroes' banners (cf. Oss. 2, 136), and Oschin m 
song, Dermid — ^the " Women's Dermid," as he was called — ^thu* 
declares himself — 

" Ceol is mb rugas da raoghainn," 
do radh Diarmaid nan dearc mall, 
" a ro-ghraidh, cian ge beo dhomhsa, 
comhradh bhan is annsa ann." 

Dermid, the son of Oduhne, was not one of the foremost 
heroes, but he was the most beautiful, and at the sight of a love- 
mark on his brow every woman became violently enamoured of 
him. So it happened that also Grainne, Finn's consort, daughter 
of King Cormac, fell in love with Dermid, and tempted hirn. to 
elope with her. Their long and devious wanderings form the 
subject of an Irish tale^ and some older verses on the same have 
been worked up by Kennedy into ballad form — " Is mooh a 
ghoireas a' chbrr " (Early screeches the crane). Another ballad 
of Oschin to Patrick relates how Dermid was once on a day dis- 
covered in the forest of Newry concealed in in a moimtain-aah, 
under which Finn sat playing draughts, and was rescued from 
death only by the timely intervention of his friends, especially 
Oscar. Day and night Finn nurses revenge, and at last he 
cunningly invites Dermid to Mount Gulbim to join in the hunt of 
a terrible boar. Regardless of the warning of Grainne, Dermid 
accepts the invitation. He encounters the boar, against which 
the others will not dare to advance, and when, in obedience to the 
orders of Finn, he was measuring the dead, animal by pacing 
along its back against the bristles, a poisonous point enters his 
foot, and he dies in misery, while his adversary declines to reach 
him the antidote he holds in his hands. The ballkd of the death 
of the Gaelic Adonis is given in the Dean's Book, and by it the 
later texts, as also that translated in Campbell's Tales, have been 
influenced. It is of pure Scottish origin, 86 but the legend itself 

* The Dukes of Argyll trace their genealogical tree to Diarmaid O'Duibhne, 
and bear the boar's head on their coat- of -arms — ceann na muice fiadhaiche a 
leag Diarmad sa choill iidlaidh (Macintyre, p. 125). But, as Skene shows 
(Celtic Scotland 3, 459), another O'Duibhne is in question. 

'^14 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

is ancient, for in the " Lebor na huidre " of the eleventh century 
there ia a verse of a poem in which Grainne avows her passion for 
Dennid (Revue Celtique 11, 126) — 

One man there is 

Whom long I love to behold, 

For whom I would give the wide world. 

Treachery it is, right through and through. 

Of ominous consequence to the Feinne was the old feud 
between the tribes of Baischgne and Moma. According to a 
poem in the Dean's Book, which has up to our own century been 
pretty completely preserved, though somewhat changed, Finn's 
father, Cuwal, once started a bitter persecution of the tribe of 
Moma, banished miany of them, and put many to death. They 
set their mind on vengeance, subjected him to the daUiance of a 
daughter of the dan, and fell upon him when sleeping. 87 The 
story is thus told to the son of Cuwal, who had not known his 
father, by Garadh, a veteran warrior — 

" Thug sinn 'n sin ruith nach robh mall 
gus an tigh an robh Cumhall, 
chuir sinn guin ghoirt gach fear 
ann an corp Chumhaill d'a shleagh. 

" Bheucadh e mar gum biodh mart ann, 
's raoiceadh e mar gu'm biodh tore ann, 
's ge nach b'onair e 'mhac righ, 
bhramadh Cumhall mar ghearran. 

" Sin agads', Fhinn mhic Chumhaill, 
beagan do sgeulaibh mu d'athair 
gun fhuath, gun fhalachd o shin, 
gun eisiomail, gun urram." 

" Ge nach d'rugadh mise ann 

ri linn Chumhaill nan geur lann, 
an gniomh a rinn sibh gu taireil 
diolaidh mis' orr' an aon la e." 

The decadence of the Feinne seems to date, according to the 
AlbanogaeHc myth, from the death of Dermid. Soon thereafter 
Carril, the yoimgest son of Finn, succumbed to the more powerful 

^ From a tale in the Lehor -».« huidhre, 41b, we rather gather that Cuwa' 
was killed in the Battle of Cnucha by Goll, who himself lost an eye there. 


Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 315 

Goll, with whom he had come to blows at a carousal about the 
hero's portion (curadh-mhir). The real ballad on this episode is 
that published by Stone and Macnicol, but better known is 
Kennedy's poem, published in the Report as Ossianic, though 
afterwards claimed by the composer as his own — " on honour 
. . . entirely my own," he writes to P. Graham (Essay, p. 
218). As a specimen, we give here the opening hnes — 

An Tigh-Teamhra nan cruit chiuil 

air dhuinne bhi steach mu'n ol, 

dhuisg on iomarbhaigh na laoich, 
• Caireall caomh is Momad mor. 

Dh' eirich gu spaimeachd na suinn, 
bu truime na 'n tonn cuHg an cos, 
sroinich an cuim chluinnteadh cian, 
's an fhiann gu cianail fo sprochd. 

Clachan agus talamh trom 

threachailteadh le 'm bonn 'san stri, 
/ a cliarachd re fad an la 

gun fhios cia dhiubh b'fhearr 'sa ghniomh. 

When on the second day they resort to their weapons, Carril 
is fatally struck down by Goll : Finn bewails him, and the bards 
strike up the lament for the dead. The death of Goll, the story 
of which has been handed down in various guises, is set forth in 
a ballad called " GoU's Testament." This has been preserved in 
a very truncated form, and it has also been spun out by Kennedy 
into a more lengthy poem. The death of Garadh is the theme of 
a ballad composition with which Macpherson had some acquaint- 
ance (Temora, p. 36, ed. 1763), and which is based on a tale in 
the " Agallamli " (Silva Gad., p. 123). Once on a time the 
Feinne go out to the chase, and leave behind Garadh as the 
guardian of the women in their house in Formaoil. 88 While he 
is sleeping on the green sward in the open, some of them tie his 
hair to a tree, and, on his awakening, he loses both his hair and 
his scalp. In his frenzy he sets fire to the house, and it, with aU 
its occupants, is thoroughly consumed. Then he hides himseK 
in an earth-pit. The Feinne, horror-struck by the distant gleam 
of the conflagration, hasten home, and discover the extent of the 
desolation without suspecting the cause. But Finn, by aid of his 

^ Formaoil is said to be in Leiuster (v. Keating, Histor}^, p. 347 ; and Oss. 
4. IS). The purport of the poem is also given in the Book of Howth 
(v. ITrtinmer's Chronicle, p. 62). 

316 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

mystic gift as seer, divines the incendiary. The culprit is straight- 
way unearthed, and Finn hastily grants his prayer to be beheaded 
on the King's thigh with the King's own sword, the " Son of Lon," 
irresistible in its weight, and is himself seriously woimded when 
Oscar dehvers e blow. The " curious catalogue of furniture " 
which Macpherson details from this poem reads — 

Ceud laoch nach druideadh fo sheandachd, 
's ceud saor bhean do bhantrachd Fhinn, 
ceud cuilean le coileir airgid 
dh' fhag sinn 'san teach, 's b'fhada linn. 

Ceud macan le'm broilleach shide, 
ceud maighdean bu ghrinne meur, 
's ceud bean bu mhuim' don mhacraidh, 
'fhuair urram an teach nan treun. 

Ceud bratach uaine dhathach 

'gabhail gaoith' ri ^athaibh chrann, 
ceud cupan 's ceud fainne sheunta, 
ceud clach cheangailt' 's ceud corn cam. 

Ceud seuchd s ceud ceann-bheairt bholgach, 
is ceud sgiath le n comhdach crann, 
is ceud luire.ich bu loinnreach ' 

fo ur-mhaiUibh orbhuidh' ann. 

Apparently the ballad shifts the scene of action — ^the house of 
Formaoil, with which, it may be said, we have no fuller acquaint- 
ance — to Scotland, for only on this assumption can we explain 
the statement that the Feinne crossed a narrow strait. In it they 
lost, it -is said, one of their number — " Each man sprang to his 
spear,. Reh's son alone went down in the sound." According 
to popular etymology, it is from this ' mac Reatha ' that " Caol 
Reidhinn," Kyle Rhea, a narrow strait between the Island of 
Skye and the Scottish mainland, gets its name. 

The tragic acme of the Ossianic poetrv is reached in the battle 
of Gaura, or, in other words, the annihilation of the Feinne. The 
death of Oscar in the memorable fight is the theme of four ballads. 
The first, " Is mor an nochd mo chumha fein," and the second, 
" Aithris duinne, Fhearghuis," are preserved in the Dean's Book ; 
the third, " Innis duinn, a Oisin " (Oss. 1, 74), is almost exclu- 
sively of Irish currency ; and the fourth, " Cha'n abair mi, thriath, 
ri m' cheol," is the specially Scottish one, where Oscar is the 
centre figure. Many editors of the last named have incorporated 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 317 

individual stanzas from the other ballads, and the ballad supphed 
Macpherson with material for Book I. of his epic " Temora/' 
printed by him as early as 1762 in his first volume (p. 172 et seq.). 
Here, as elsewhere, he has plagiarised, distorted, misconstrued; 
and aanplified. 

During the absence of Finn on a journey to Rome to find a 
remedy for the woimd he received at the execution of Garadh, 
the power of the Feinne is ruthlessly curtailed by the over-King, 
Cairbre, the successor of his father, Cormac. They, in conse- 
quence, make a hostile stand, under the leadership of Oscar, the 
son of Oschin, against the troops of the over-King. Meanwhile 
Oscar is invited to a feast by Cairbre, who makes a show of con- 
ciliation, and, with a considerable retinue, Oscar accepts tke 
invitation — 

Fhuair sinn onoir, fhuair sinn miadh, 
mar a fhuair sinn roimhe riamh, 
gun easbhaidh air fion no ceol 
re tri oidhchibh is tri lo. 

An oidhche mu dheireadh do'n oT 
thuirt an Cairbre le guth mor : 
" lomlaid sleagh' is aoll learn uait, 
Oscair nan arm faobhar-chruaidh " 89 

" Ciod e 'n iomlaid sleagh 'bhiodh ort, 
a Chairbre ruaidh nan longphort? 
's gur bu leat mi fein 's mo shleagh 
ri am chuir catha no comhraig." 

" Cha V uilear learn cis na cain 
na aon seud a bhiodh 'nar tir, 
cha b' uilear leam ri m' linn a bhos 
gach seud a dh' iarrainn gu'm faighinn." 

" Chan eil or na earras gu fior 
a dh' iarradh oimne an righ, 
gun tair, gun tailceas duinn deth, 
nach bu leats' a thigheamas. 

^ Compare Macpherson's " I behold the spear of Eric. . , Yield it» spn 
of Oseian, yield it to carbome Gairbar " (Temora 1, 213, et seq.) 

31 B Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

" lomlaid cum gun iomlaid croinn 
b' euoorach sud iarraidh oimn, 
's e fath mu'n iarradh tu sin, 90 
8mn bhi gun fheinn, gun athair." 

" Ged bhiodh an fhiann is d' athair 

'n la a V fhearr 'bha iad 'nam beat^a, 

cha b' uilear leamsa ri m' linn 

gach fiwud a dh' iarrainn gu'm faighinn." 

'' Nam biodh an fhiann is m' athair 

'n la b' fhearr 'bha iad 'nam beaibha, 
chan fhaigheadh thusa, a righ, 
leud do throidhe an Eirinn !" 

Both Chiefs part in anger. Oscar receives dark predictiofis 
as to the issue of the following day, and he hears the ciminous 
croaking of a raven, and sees a witch washing blood-stained 
clothing, and foretelling his death. And so it happeais at the 
battle of Gaura, where Oscar performs wonders of bravery, slays 
King Cairbre and his son, Art, who has taken the place of royal 
honour on the field, but himself succumbs to a mortal wound 
inflicted by Cairbre's spear. 91 The bard sings — 

Do fhuair mise mo mhac fain, 
is e na' luigh' air uileann chle, 
is e sileadh fhola dheth 
trid bhloighdibh a luirich. 

Chuir mi bonn mo shleagh' ri lar 
is rinn mi os a chionn tamh 
ag smuaineachadh le bron an sin, 
ciod a dheanainn 'na dhiaidh. 

Dh' amhairc an t-Oscar ormsa suas, 
is dar leam bu mhor a chruas, 
shin e chugam a dha laimh 
chum eirigh am chomhdhail. 
^ Mscpherson inserts this — " Are thy words so mighty because Fingai ia 
near ?" (Temora 1, 239). 

^^ According to the ballad, Cairbre's warriors set the King's helmet on a 
standard in order to produce the impression that he still lives. This Mac- 
pherson utilises in his usual way — " Cairbar creeps in darkness behind a stone," 
&c. (Temora 1, 282, et seq). In the Irish tradition the procedure in the 
battle of Gaura was different — In proclii aestu Carbreus et Osgarus Fvnnii ex 
Ossino nepos manus conserunt. Ilex wlneribus pertusus aemvlwm prostravit, 
sedpiignae 8c vlterius a Simeone KirHJUio de Forthartorum schcle i/nttremptus 
mt O'Flaherty, Ogygia, p. 341 ; likewise Rearing, Histoiy of Ireland, p. 361. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 319 

Ghlac mi lamha mo mhic f ein 
agus shuidh mi f a na sgeitJi ; 
o'n t-suidheadh sin iona ghar 
nior diuireas speis 'san t-saoghal. 

'S e thuirt rinm mo mhac feardha, 
is e an deireadh a anma : 
" A bhuidhe ris na duilibh sin, 
ma tha thusa slan, a athar." 

Of the disastrous course of the combats the minstrel Fergus 
now reports to Finn, who has just returned, and who took no 
part in them — 

" Innis dhuinn, a Fhearghuis, 
fhilidh feinne Eireann, 
oionnas mar a tharladh 
'n cath Ghabhra nam beumann?" 

" Ni math, a mhic Chimihaill, 
mo sgeul o chath Ghabhra, 
oha mhair Osgar ionmhainn, 
thug mor chosgar calma.. 

" Cha mhair seachd mic Chaoilte, 
gasraidh feinne Aim ha inn ; 
do thuit oig na feinne 
ann an eideadh araich. 

" Do mharbhadh mac Lughaidh 
na se mic 's an athair, 
do thuit oig na Halmhatnn, 
do mharbhadh fiann Bhreatain. 

" Do thuit mac righ Lochlainn 
fa leinne bhi 'chomhnadh, 
bu chridhe fial feardha, 
bu lamh chalma 'n comhnaidh." 

" Innis domh, a fhilidh, 

mac *mo mhic is m'anam, 
cionnas a bha Osgar 
sgoltadh nan oatharrar 

•^20 Gaelic Society of Inuernesa. 

'' Bu dheacair r'a innseadh, 
do bu mhor an obair, 
na robh marbh 's a' chath sin, 
thuit le armaibh Osgair. 

" Ni'n luaithe eas aibhne 
no seabhag ri ealtaibh 
no niith bhuinne srutha 
na Osgar 's bJ chath sin. 

" Do bhi se mu dheireadh 

mar bhile ri treun-ghaoith, 

mar chrann oe gach fiubhaidh, 

's a shuil air gach aon laoch . . 92 

" Nior iompaidh sinn Osgar, 
gu 'n d' rainig righ Eireann, 
gu n tug beimi gun dichioll, 
gur dhochainn e gheur lann. 

" 'S thuit leas Art mac Chairb»e 
air an dama buille, 
's amhlaidh a bhi am fear sin, 
is a mhionn righ uime/' 

Finn reminds bia grandson that he reoeived in former fights 
equally sefvere wounds, 93 and was healed by him. But Osoax 
sees death before him. Thereupon Finn bewails — 

^ Both the last lines are given from Kennedy and Turner's text, as the 
Dean's Book is not quite intelligible here. 

^ He got, the story goes, such wounds that cranes, or geese, or, indeed, 
stags could swim through them. In Oss. 1, 122, Cailte can put his hand up 
to the elbow through Oscar^s wounds ; and so in the Book of Leinster (85a 13) 
we are told that if birds in their flight were wont to penetrate human bodies, 
they could have flown that day through them, since they were riddled with 
wounds. The Irish narrators are not to be beaten in rhetorical hyperbola. 
We lea*^, for instance, of uncouth men, whose hair stands so stiffly on end 
that if a bushel of apples be emptied on their head, each apple is individually 
fipitted ; so violent once is laughter that the trembling stars begin to sta^^ger 
in the skye ; and music is so wondrously enchanting that thirty men die of 
ecstacy on the spot, and again it is so awful t)iat it can teiir out the hair of the 


Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 321 

^' 'S truagh nacll mise a thiiit ann 

an cath Ghabhra, gniomh nach gann, 

is tusa an ear 's an iar 

bhi roimh na fiannaibh, Osgair \" 

Ag eisdeachd ri bhriathraibh Fhinn 
anam as Osgar gur ling, 
shin e naithe a dha laimh. 
's dhun a rosga bha ro-mhall. 

" Mo laogh fein thu, laogh mo laoigh, 
leinibh mo leinibh ghil chaoimh, 
ino chridhe leumnaich mar Ion, 
gu la bhrath chan eirich Osgar/' 94 

'S ann an sin a chaoidh Fionn 
air an tulaich. os ar cionn, 
shruth na deoir sios o rosgaibh, 
thionndaidh e ruinn a chidthaobli. 

Thog sinn ar n-Osgar aluinn 

air guailibh 's air sleaghaibh arda ; 
thug sinn is iomchair grinn, 
gus an d'rainig sinn tigh Fhinn. 

Donnalaich nan con ri m' thaobh, 
agus buirich nan sean laooh, 
's gul a' bhannail 'caoidh mu seach, 
r^'n b'e sud a chraidh mo chridhe. 95 

Cha chaoineadh bean a mac fein, 
ni mo chaoineadh a bhrathair e, 
a mheud 's sl bha ^inne 'n sin, 
bha sinn nils caoineadh Osgair. 96 

After the battle of Ganra, in which his foremost warriors fell, 
Finn sickened, and soon died. His death is said to have been 
due to treachery, but there is no older ballad on the subject. 97 

^■* Macphersoii — " The heart of the aged beats over thee. . . . never- 
more shall Oscar rise" (Temora ], 337, 351 ; Cf. O'Flanagan, Deirdri, p. 216). 

^ " The groans of aged chiefs, the howling of iny dogs, the sudden bursts 
of the song of grief, have melted Oscar's soul," &c. (Temorr 1, 367 et seq). 

^ " No father mourned his son slain in youth, no brother his brother in 
ove," &c. (Tomora 1, 357 et seq.) 

^7 A Scottish legend (Cb. 195) is in marked disaccord with the Irish (K. 
Meyer, Ventry, p. 75 ; Silva Gad., p. 89, cf. LL. 31b 43, 131a 26). 


322 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

In tJie Dean's Book, however, a poem, has been preBerved to us, 
which Oschin, according to acceptation, dedicates in childHke 
affection to his lately departed father. It is full of euphony and 
beauty — 

Se la gus an de 

bho nach faca me Fionn, 
chan f hac mi re m' re 
se a b'fhaide Uom. 

Mac nighine Thaidg, 
righ nam fola * trom, 
m'oide is mo thriath, 
mo chiall is mo chonn. 

Fa midh, fa flath, 
fa righ air gach righ, 
Fionn flath righ nam fiann, 
fa triath air gach tir. 

Fa miol mor mara, 
fa leomhan air leirg, 
fa seabhag glan gaoith', 
fa saoi air gach ceird. . . 

Fa he am miol mor 

mac Mhuime gach maigh, 
barr loinneach nan lann, 
an crann os gach fiodh. 98 

Fa chosnaich nan gniomh 
fa Bhanbha nam ban, 99 
gu'n tug am flath* 
tri cheud cath fa cheann. 

Nior BUT ni air neach 
dh'iarrar bho Fhionn, 
cha robh ach righ greine 
righ riamh os a chionn. 

* Foghla, Ed. 

* Translated—" The glittering point of the blade?, the shaft of the spear 
over all wood." 

^ Banba is a name for Ireland : the names most frequently met elsewhere 
besides JEW (gen.: Eireann, dat. and ace; Eirinn — in Scottish Gaelic Eirinn 
as a rule, in all cases), are Fodla, Elga, Scotia, Innisfail ; also Innu nan na4yniK 
' the Isle of Saints,** as in the second stanza below. 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 32a 

Nior f hag beist an loch 
na arrachd an uaimh 
an Eiiinn nan naomh 
nar mharbh an saor shaoidh. 

Ni hinnsinn a ghniomh, 
da bhidheann gu de brath, 
nior innseadh bhuaim) 
trian a bhuaidh is 'aigh. 

Ach is olc ataim 

an deidh Fhinn na feinne, 
do ohaidh leis an fhlath 
gach math bha 'n dheidh. 

Is tuirseach ataim 

an deidh chinn nan ceud, 
is me an crann air chrith, 
is mo chiabh do m' fhag ( ?) 100 

Is me al chno chaoch, 
is ne an t-each gun srian, 
ochadan mo nuar ! 
is me an tnath gun triath, &c. 

" Oschin after Feinne " (Oisin an deidh na Feinno) ; the 
solitary surviving aged hero, who recounts with sorrow the glori- 
ous past, is the key-note of aU the Ossianic poetry. He is said 
to have lived on, and in dire want, after the appearance of St 
Patrick in Elfin, in County Roscommon, the home of the apostle, 
and, according to the legend, he had to take his share in the com- 
pulsory service in the building of the churches. A poem, in which 
he poiirtrays the bitterness of his joyless old age, is to hand in the 
Dean's book and in " Duanaire Fhinn " (also O'ReiUy, Essay, p. 

Is fada 'nochd an Ailfionn, 

is fada leinn an oidhche 'n raoir, 
an la. 'n diu ge fada dhomh, 
do bu leor fada an la 'n de. 

The legend tells of the frequent meetings of Oschin and St 
Patrick. On these occasions Oschin was wont to entertain the 

]oo Ygj,y disputable, as we don't know how the words of the original, " is me 
kewe er naik" are to be transliterated. [This means " is mo chiabh air n-eug." 
— Trans. 

324 Gaelic Society of inuernees. 

Saint with the adventures of Finn and the Feinne, or to attend 
the religious exercises of his friend, and listen to the teaching of 
Divine truth. Between the Saint and the aged Pagan there 
occurred more or less passionate disagreements, the settlement of 
which is the subject of *' Oschin's Prayer." This so-called Albano- 
gaelic ballad, pubhshed first by Th. Hill, arid last by Al. Cameron 
in the " Scottish Review 8, 350 et seq. (1886), is inade up of two 
older ballads. The one, " Innis duinn, a Phadraig," we find in 
the Dean's Book, No. 7, and also in the Irish (Oss. 1, 92-110); 
the other, " A Oisin, is fada do shuan," appears in " Duanaire 
Fhinn " and otherwise. 101 Among the Irish the latter is, as a 
rule, the longer, and in the case of many other ballads it serves 
as an introduction or investiture. The Scottish revised version 
begmsl02 : — 

Innis sgeul, a Phadraig, 
an onoir do leughaidh, 
a bheil neamh gu haraidh 
ag mathaibh feinn' Eirinn. 

Bheirinn-sa mo dhearbhadh 
dhuitsarsa Oisin nan glonn, 
nach 'eil neamh ag d' athair, 
ag Osgar no ag Goll. 

'S olc an sgeula araidh 

th' agad dhomhsa chleirich ! 
com am binn-sa ri crabhadh, 
mur 'eil neamh ag feinn Eirinn? 

Oisin, is fada do shuan, 
eirich suas is eisd na sailm ! 
chaill thu nis do luth 's do rath 
's cha chuir thu cath ri la garbh. 

101 ■ 

E.g., in the Gieasen Manuscript of D. DriscoU of the year 1685, 
p. 56b-58a, where the stanzas are forty. In the Edinburgh Manuscript 62 
(Cam. 1, 164), only seventeen stanzas are given. 

^^ Herder's translation in the " Adrastea " (Werke 24, 38 et seq.) is based 
on Young's. Macpherson knew the poem : in his first Dissertations (p. vii. 
ed. 1762) he says—" It was with one of the Culdees that Ossian, in his extreme 
old age, is said to have disputed concerning the Christian religion." This 
Culdee {i.e., Uile Dd— God's servant) is his " lonely dweller of the rock," the 

famous MacAlpin, whose proper Bame Macpherson was ignorant of 

" Tradition has not handed down the name of this son of Alpin. His father 
was one of Fingal's principal bards " (Berrathon, p. 258, ed. 1762). 

Ossianic Heroic Poetry. 325 

For long Oschin, whose chief concern is the renown of his 
father and his race, turns a deaf ear to the appeals of St Patrick, 
but at last he is converted, and makes his peace with heaven. In 
the Irish text of the ballad (Oss. 4, 60, 244 ; Brooke, Relics 2, 
414), the Saint speaks thus — 

Leig thusa do bheith baoth, 
a mhic an righ a b'f hearr chu ! 
geill do'n te dognidh gach f eart, 
crom do cheann is feac do ghlun. 

Buail d' ucht is doirt do dheur, 
creid do'n te tha os do chionn, 
gidh giu" b'ioghnadh a luadh, 
is e do rug buaidh air Fionn. 

Oschin summarises the whole story in his " Prayer,'* which, 
according to the Albanogaelic edition goes — 

Comraich an da absdol dheug 

gabhaidh mi dhomh fein annochd ; 
ma rinn mise peacadh trom, 
biodh e 'n luidh 'san torn 'sa chnoc ! 

The last verse varies in the different texts of the ballad. A 
continuous specification and explanation of such variants of the 
specimens here contributed would claim more space than their 
importance and the purpose of this treatise would justify. 

Sht MARCH, 1898. 

On this date an exceptionally well attended meeting was held, 
at which Mr Williaea Mackay, solicitor, read a valuable paper on 
" An Inverness Merchant of the Olden Time." Mr Mackay's paper 
will be included in next volume of the Society's " Transactions." 

326 Gaelic Society of Inverness, 

7th APRIL, 1898, 

At this meeting the following gentlemen were elected Ordinary 
Members of the Society — A. Lee Innes, Esq., Kingsmills, and 
E. H. Hugonin, Esq., solicitor, Inverness. The paper for the 
meeting was a contribution by Mr John Whyte, Inverness, 
entitled, " Orthography for Gaelic Dialects." 



Charles Fraser-Mackintosh of Drummond, LL.D. 

Alexander Macbain, M.A., F.S.A. Scot., rector, Raining's School, 

William Mackay, solicitor, Inverness 
Duncan Campbell, editor, " Northern Chronicle," Inverness 
John Mackay, C.E., Hereford 
Alexander Macpherson, solicitor, Kingussie 


Baillie, James E. B., of Dochfour. 

Bankes, P. Liot, of Letterewe 

Bignold, Arthur, of Lochrosque, Ross-shire 

Brodie, W. A. G., 15 Rutland Square, Edinburgh 

Burgess, Peter, Craven Estates Office, Coventry 

Campbell, Alasdair, of Kilmartin, Glen-Urquhart 

Falconer, J. J. Maclennan, St Anns, Lasswade 

Ferguson, R. C. Munro, of Novar, M.P. 

Fletcher, J. Douglas, of Rosehaugh 

Fletcher, Fitzroy C, Letham Grange, Arbroath 

Finlay, R. B., Q.C., Solicitor General, Phillemore Gardens, London 

Fraser-Mackintosh, Charles, of Drummond, LL.D. 

Grant, Ian Murray, of Glenmoriston 

Jackson, Major Randle, of Swordale, Evanton 

Lord Lovat, Right Hon., Beaufort Castle, Beauly 

Macdonald, Lachlan, of Skaebost, Skye 

Macfarlane, D. H., M.P., 46 Portman Square, London 

Mackay, Donald, Gampola, Kandy, Ceylon 

Mackay, George F., Roxburgh, Otago, New Zealand 

Mackay, James, Roxburgh, Otago, New Zealand 

Mackay, John, C.E., J.P., Reay House, Hereford 

Mackenzie, Sir Allan R., of Kintail, Bart. 

Mackenzie, Thomas, Dailuaine House, Carron, Strathspey 

328 Gaelic Society of inuerness. 

Mackenzie, W. D., of Glen Kyllachy and Fair, Inverness 

Maclean, L., Castle Packets, Cape Tovni, Africa 

Macleod of Macleod, Reginald, Grantown House, Edinburgh 

Matheson, Sir Kenneth, of Lochalsh, Bart. 

Munro, Sir Hector, of Fowlis, Bart. 

Ross, John M., 2 Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow 

Scobie, Captain N., late of Fearn, Ros8-shire 

Sivewright, Sir James, K.C.M.G., Commissioner of Crown Lands^ 

Cape Colony, Africa ' 
Yule, Miss Amy Frances, Tarradale House, Ross shire 


Baillie, Aug. C, Dochfour, Inverness 

Beith, Gilbert, M.P., 7 Royal Bank Place, Glasgow 

Burgess, Alexander, Caledonian Bank, Gairloch 

Cameron, Sir Ewen, manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai 

Banking Company, London 
Campbell, Duncan, editor, " Northern Chronicle," Inverness 
Campbell, J. A., Trinity College, Cambridge 
Chisholm, Roderick (iooden, Whmcroft, Wimbome, London 
Davidson, Major, of Can tray 
Davidson, Sheriff, Fort- William 
Falconer, Dr J., St Ann's, Lasswade, Midlothian 
Grant, A., Mary hi 11, Inverness 

Grant, Brigade-Surgeon Alex., Reay House, Inverness 
Grant, Hugh, Victoria Ten-ace, Inverness 
Grant, Ian Macpherson, yr. of Ballindalloch 
Grant, J. P., of Rothiemurchus 
Lord Kyllachy, The Hon , Edinburgh 
Macallister, ex-Bailie T. S., Inverness 
Macdonald, Brigade-Surgeon A., The Haven, Inverness 
Macdonald, Galium, Highland Club, Inverness 
Macdonald, L., C. and M. Engineer, 1317 Eleventh Avenue^ 

Altoona, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 
Macdougall, Miss C. E., Canaan Lodge, Canaan Lane, Edinburgh 
Mackay, Eric, 7 Royal Exchange, London, E.G. 
Mackenzie, Mackay D., National Provincial Bank of England, 

Clifton, Bristol 
Mackenzie, Simon, The Hotel, Lochboisdale, S. Uist 
Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Moyhall 
Mackintosh, A. Mackintosh, Geddes, Nairn 

Members. 329^ 

Mackintosh, A. R., Balmoral House, Nairn 

Mackintosh, Andrew (of Barclay, Mackintosh, Sz Co.), Monte Video 

Mackintosh, Angus, of Holme, Palace Chambers, 9 Bridge Street,. 

Mackintosh, Neil R., of Raigmore 
Maclaren, J., Gordon Highlanders, Edinburgh 
Macleod, Rev. Dr Norman, Ravenswood, Inverness 
Macpherson, Charles J. B., of Bellville, Kingussie 
Macpherson, George, 8 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, U.S.A. 
Macpherson, Colonel, of Glentniim, Kingussie 
Menzies, A. J. P., Palace Hotel, Inverness 
Robertson, John L., H.M. Inspector of Schools, Inverness 
Scott, Roderick, solicitor, Inverness 
Sinclair, George, Caledonian Hotel, Inverness 
Watts, Mrs E. F., Little Holland House, London 
Wimberley, Captain D., Ardross Terrace, Inverness 


Anderson, John, solicitor, Stornoway 
Atkin, Percy H., barrister-at-law. The Temple, London 
Barron, James, editor, " Inverness Courier," Inverness 
Batchen, Thomas M., C.E., Bay Terrace, Londonderry 
Beaton, Angus J., C.E., Alexandra Terrace, Rockferry, Cheshire 
Bentinck, Rev. Chas. D., E.C. Manse, Kirkhill, Inverness 
Birkbeck, Robert, 20 Berkeley Square, London 
Bisset, Rev. Alexander, Chapel House, Nairn 
Black, F. A., solicitor, Inverness 
Buchanan, F. C, Clarinnish, Row, Helensburgh 
Cameron, Rev. Allan, Free East Church, Inverness 
Cameron, Rev. Angus, St John's Rectory, Arpafeelie 
Cameron, Colin, ironmonger, High Street, Inverness 
Cameron, Donald, of Lochiel, Achnacarry House, Fort- William 
Cameron, D. M., v.holesale grocer, Dempster Gardens 
Cameron, D., teacher, Blairour, Spean-Bridge, Kingussie 
Cameron, D., merchant, Muir of Ord 
Cameron, Dr, Nairn 

Cameron, John, S.S.C, 40 Castle Street, Edinburgh 
Cameron, John, bookseller. Union Street, Inverness 
Cameron, Kenneth, factor, Ullapool 
Cameron, Miss M. E., of Innseagan, Fort- William 
Cameron, Neil R., of D. Cameron & Co., grocei-s. Church Street 

330 Gaelic Society of Inverness 

Cameron, Paul, Blair- Atholl 

Cameron, Rev. Alex., Sleat, Skye 

Campbell, Donald, merchant, Kingussie 

Campbell, Rev. D., Petty, Inverness 

Campbell, Ewau, cabinet maker, Kingussie 

Campbell, Fraser (of Fraser & Campbell), High Street, Inverness 

Campbell, Sheriff, Stomoway 

Campbell, James, builder, Ardross Place, Inverness 

Campbell, James Lennox, Dalmally 

Campbell, Paul, shoemaker. Castle Street, Inverness 

Campbell, T. D., 16 Ness Bank, Inverness 

Carmichael, Alexander, 29 Raebum Place, Edinburgh 

Chisholm, Father, Eskdale, by Beauly 

Clarke, Colonel Camming, Achindoun, Beauly 

Connell, Rev D., Free West Church, Inverness 

Cook, James, commission agent, Inverness 

Cook, John, commission agent, 21 Southside Road, Inverness 

Cran, John, Kirkton, Bunchrew 

Crerar, Alexander, merchant, Kingussie 

Crerar, Duncan Macgregor, 93 Nasseu Street, New York 

Cruickshanks, Dr, Nairn 

Cumming, D. G., Royal Bank, Forres 

Cumming, John, Knockie Villa, Beaufort Road, Inverness 

Davidson, D., Waverley Hotel, Inverness 

Dewar, John, M.B., CM., Portree 

Dey, Robert, M.A., Berryhill Public School, Wishaw 

Fergusson, Charles, Nairn 

Findlater, A. K. (of Messrs Macdonald & Mackintosh), Inverness 

Finlayson, R., Ardjachie, Tain 

Forsyth, John H., Southside Road, Inverness 

Eraser, Alex., draper. High Street, Inverness 

Fraser, Alexander, solicitor, Inverness 

Eraser, Alexander, grocer, Tomnahurich Street, Inverness 

Fraser, Alexander, city editor, Toronto Mail, Toronto 

Fraser, Rev. A., Connel Ferry, by Oban 

Fraser, Miss Catherine, 42 Union Street, Inverness 

Fraser, D. Munro, H.M. Inspector of Schools, Dingwall 

Fraser, Farquhar, 18 Inglis Street, Inverness 

Fraser, Hugh, Armadale Cottage, Greig Street, Inverness 

Fraser, Dr Hugh E., Royal Infirmary, Dundee 

Fraser, James, C.E., Inverness 

Fraser, James, Mauld, Strathglass 

Fraser, James M., agent, Caledonian Bank, Fortrose 

Members, 331 

Fraser, John, draper, 80 High Street, Nairn 

Fraser, John, grocer, Haugh, Inverness 

Fraser, Rev. J., Erchless, by Beauly 

Fraser, Captain J. Wilson, of Balnain, Stratherrick 

Fraser, Rev. John, F.C. Manse, Dores 

Fraser, Roderick, contractor, Argyle Street, Inverness 

Fraser, Thos., 82 George Street, Edinburgh 

Fraser, William, Kessock Street, Inverness 

Freer, Miss Goodrich, Holy Trinity Vicarage, Paddington, London, 

Gibson, Thomas (of Messrs Mactavish & Gibson), Inverness 
Gillanders, K. A., grocer, Queensgate, Inverness 
Gillies, Norman, governor, Poorhouse, Lochmaddy 
Gossip, James A., Knowsley, Inverness 
Gow, James Mackintosh, F.S.A. Scot., Prospect House, Bushey 

Heath, Herts 
Gracie, D. S., Inland Revenue, Inverness 
Graham, Hugh M., solicitor. Church Street, Inverness 
Grant, George Macpherson, yr. of Ballindalloch 
Grant, Rev. J., E.C. Manse, Kilmuir, Skye 
Grant, James, commercial traveller, Arthur & Co., Glasgow 
Grant, Dr Ogilvie, Inverness 
Grant, Rev. Donald, Dornoch 
Grant, J. B., Eastlands, Horsham, Sussex 
Grant, Colonel Robert, Beanachan, Carr-Bridge 
Grant, William, Gresham Insurance Office, London 
Gunn, Rev. Adam, Durness, Lairg. 
Haggart, Rev. Mr, The Manse, Lochcarron 
Henderson, Dr Angus, Momingside, Edinburgh 
Henderson, John, factor for Rosehaugh, Fortrose 
Holmes, James, 4 Finchley Road, Plimlico, London 
Holmes, T., 15 New Alma Road, Portswood, Southampton 
Hood, John, secretary, English and Scottish Law Life Association, 

Hugonin, E. H., solicitor, Inverness 
Innes, A. Lee, Kingsmills, Inverness 
Kemp, D. William, Ivy Lodge, Trinity, Edinburgh 
Kemp, Wm. D. (of Messrs Strothers & Coy.), Inverness 
Kennedy, Ewen, Newtonmore, Kingussie 
Kennedy, Rev. John, Caticol Manse, Lochranza, Arran 
Kerr, Dr, Inverness 

Kirkaldy, Geo. W., 2 Francis Grove, Wimbledon 
Lang, Dr Gordon, Inverness 

332 Gaelic Society of inuerness^ 

Lindsay, W. M., The University, St Andrew? 

Livingston, Colin, Fort-William 

Logan, Donald, Public School, Broadford 

Lumsden, Miss Louisa Innes, Glenbogie, Rhynie, Aberdeenshire 

Macarthur, Alex., Texa Villa, Inverness 

Macbain, Alexander, M.A, F.S.A. Scot., rector. High (Secondary) 

School, Inverness 
Macbean, William, Provost, 35 Union Street, Inverness 
Macbean, George, writer, Queensgate, Inverness 
Macbean, James, jeweller, Union Street, Inverness 
Macbean, Laclilan, editor, "Fifeshire Advertiser," Kirkcaldy 
Macbeth, R. J., architect, Queensgate, Inverness 
Maccallum, Henry V., solicitor, Queensgate, Inverness 
Macdonald, Professor A. G., Norman School, Truro, Nova Scotia 
Macdonald, Alex., Assistant Accountant, Highland Railway, Inver- 
Macdonald, Alex., Station Hotel, Forres 
Macdonald, Dr Alex., 11 Ardmillan Terrace, Edinburgh 
Macdonald, Rev. Alex. J., Killeaman, North Kessock 
Macdonald, Rev. A., E.G. Manse, Kiltarlity 
Macdonald, Rev. D. J., Killean Manse, Muasdale, Kintyre 
Macdonald, Rev. Allan, R.C., Eriskay, North Uist 
Macdonald, David, Clarence Street, Aberdeen 
Macdonald, Dr D., Glen-Urquhart 
Macdonald, D. A., solicitor, Portree 
Macdonald, Bailie Donald, Inverness 
Macdonald, Rev. Father, Invercannich, Strathglass 
Macdonald, Ewen, Blamancraobh, Lentran 

Macdonald, Hugh, Accountant's Office, Highland Railway, Inver- 
ness « 
Macdonald, Re v. Father, Marydale, by Beauly 
Macdonald, Hugh, solicitor, Aberdeen 
Macdonald, James, builder contractor, Kingussie 
Macdonald, James, hotel-keeper. Fort- William 
Macdonald, James, 134 Gilmour Place, Edinburgh 
Macdonald, John, wood merchant, Inverness 
Macdonald, Thomas, builder, Hilton, Inverness 
Macdonald, Donald, flesher. Union Street, Inverness 
Macdonald, Rev. James, M.A., B.D., F.C., Manse, Dornoch 
Macdonald, John, collector. Inland Revenue, London 
Macdonald, John, wholesale merchant. Castle Street, Inverness 
Macdonald, John, chief constable, Inverness 
Macdonald, Rev. James, Reay Free Church Manse, Shebster 


Members. 333 

Macdonald, Kenneth, town-clerk, Inverness 

Macxionald, Murdo, C.E., Nile Water Works, Assuan, Egypt 

Macdonald, Murdo, M.A., Schoolhouse, Dores 

Macdonald, William, contractor, George Street, Inverness 

Macdougall, Rev. R., Resolis Invergordon 

Mace wan, A. M , solicitor, Inverness 

Macewan, John, Trafford Bank, Inverness 

Ma'farlane, And., sporranmaker, Kingussie 

Macfarlane, Donald, Inverack, Blair-Atholl 

Macfarlane, Peter, chemist, Fort- William 

Macgregor, Donald, Bank of Scotland, Inverness 

Macgregor, John, Kingussie 

Macgregor, Rev. Peter, M.A., Assynt 

Machardy, Alex., chief constable, The Castle, Inverness 

Macintyre, P. B., Commissioner, Crofters' Couunission 

Macintyre, Peter, 6 Parliament Square, Edinburgh 

Macintosh, Rev. John, Free Church Manse, Fort- William. 

Maciver, Duncan, Church Street, Inverness 

Mackay, ^neas, bookseller, Stirling 

Mackay, Charles, contractor, Dempster Gardens, Inverness 

Mackay, Donald, Braemore, Dunbeath 

Mackay, Dr, Lochcarron 

Mackay, Francis D., Salisbury, South Africa 

Mackay, John, editor, " Celtic Monthly," Glasgow • 

Mackay, J. G., merchant, Portree 

Mackay, Thomas A., British Linen Coy.'s Bank, Edinburgh 

Mackay, Rev. Thomson, B.D., Strath, Skye 

Mackay, William, solicitor, Queensgate, Inverness 

Mackay, William, bookseller, High Street, Inverness 

Mackenz ' 














e, Alex., C.E., Kingussie 

e, Alex., Dochfour Estates Office, Inverness 

e, D., Edinburgh 

.e, D. F., solicitor, Inverness 

e, EVan N. B., yr. of Kilcoy, Belmaduthy House, Munlochy 

e, Dr F. M., Inverness 

e, Mrs Isabel, Silverwells, Inverness 

e, John, gamed ealer, &c.. Union Street, Inverness 

e, John, jun.. Dun vegan, Portree 

e, John T., factor, Uig, Skye 

e. Rev. J., F.C. Manse, Golspie 

e, Malcolm, M.A , 30 Woodburn Terrace, Edinburgh 

e, Murdo, Inland Revenue, Charleston, Gairloch 

e, M. T__ M.B., CM., Scalpaig, Lochmaddy 

334 Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mackenzie, Roderick, Oban Hotel, Dunedin 

Mackenzie, William, secretary, Crofters' Commission 

Mackenzie, William, clothier, Church Street, Inverness 

Mackinnon, Alexander D., solicitor, Portree 

Mackintosh, Alex., 18 Inglis Street, Inverness 

Mackintosh, Andrew, H.M. Customs, Inverness 

Mackintosh, David E., of Messrs Mackintosh <fe Coy., Bridge Street, 

Mackintosh, Duncan, Bank of Scotland, Inverness 
Mackintosh, Edwin, Southwood, Southside Road, Inverness 
Mackintosh, John, writer, Grantown, Strathspey 
Mackintosh, John, solicitor. Union Street, Inverness 
Mackintosh, Rev. A., Chapel House, Fort- William 
Mackintosh, Lachlan, merchant, Kingussie 
Mackintosh, R. L., wine merchant. Bridge Street, InvemesN 
Mackintosh, William, Fife Estate Office, Banff 
Maclachlan, Dugald, Caledonian Bank, Portree 
Maclachlan, Duncan, Public Library, Edinburgh 
Maclagan, R. C , M.D., 5 Coates Crescent, Edinburgh 
Maclean, Rev. D., Duirinish, Portree 
Maclean, Rev. J., Camoch, Strathconon 
Maclean, Rev. Norman, The Manse, Invergarry 
Maclean, Peter, merchant, Dunvegan 
Macleay, William, birdstufFer, Church Street, Inverness 
Maclean, W. G., grocer. Academy Street, Inverness 
Macleish, D., banker. Fort- William 
Maclennan, Alex., flesher, New Market, Inverness 
Maclennan, John, M.A., rector, Elgin Academy 
Maclennan, John (of Mackintosh & Co., wine merchants). Bridge 

Street, Inverness 
Maclennan, Rev. D. S., Laggan, Kingussie 
Maclennan, Rev. W., St Columba's Church, Edinburgh 
Macleod, Angus D., Bellsfield Hotel, Windermere 
Macleod, G. G., teacher, Gledfield Public School, Ardgay 
Macleod, Henry Dunning, Oxford and Cambridge Club, London 
Macleod, John, Public School, Drumsmittal, North Kessock 
Macleod, John, Inverness 
Macleod, M. D., M.B., of Beverley, Yorkshire 
Macleod, Neil, 22 Viewforth Gardens, Edinburgh, Bard to the 

Macleod, Norman, bookseller, 7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh 
Macleod, R., clothier. Castle Street, Inverness 
Macmichael, the Rev. Duncan, Duncansburgh, Fort-Willian. 

Members. 335 

Macnab, John, teacher, Kilmuir, Portree 

Macnaiighton, Dr, Stonehaven 

Macneill, Rev. J. G., Free Church Manse, Cawdor 

Macnish, Rev. Dr, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada 

Macphail, I. R. N„ advocate, Edinburgh 

Macphail, Rev. J. S., Free Church Manse, Griminish, Benbecula 

Macphail, Samuel Rutherford, M.D., medical superintendent,, 

Derby Borough Asylum, Derby 
Macpherson, Alex., solicitor, Kingussie 
Macpherson, Alex., baker, Kingussie 
Macpherson-Grant, Alister, Ballindalloch 
Macpherson, Captain, J. F., Caledonian United Service Club^ 

Macpherson, Duncan, steamboat agent, Union Street, Inverness 
Macpherson, Duncan, Inverguseran, Knoydart 
Macpherson, D., postmaster, Falkirk 
Macpherson, George, Scottish Widows' Fund, St Andrew's Square,, 

Macpherson, John, The Hotel, Ullapool 
Macpherson, Lachlan, 8 Smith Place, Leith 
Macqueen, Rev. John, Chapel House, Inverness 
Macqueen, William, Baron Taylor's Lane, Inverness 
Macrae, Rev. Farquhar, M.A., E.C. Manse, Glenorchy, Dalmally . 
Macrae, Rev. A., Free Church Manse, Clachan, Kintyre 
Macrae, R., posting master, Beauly 
Macrae, John, solicitor, Dingwall 
Macrae, Dr, Jesmond, Newcastle 
Macrury, Rev. John, Snizort, Skye 

Mactavish, Alexander, Ironmonger, Castle Street, Inverness 
Mactavish, Duncan, Academy Street, Inverness 
Mactavish, P. D., solicitor, Inverness 
Macvean, C. S., Kilfinichen House, Pennyghael, Mull 
Martin, W. A., Beauclerc Road, London, W. 
Masson, Rev. Dr Donald, 36 Comiston Drive, Edinburgh 
Matheson, J., Ordnance Survey, Edinburgh 
Matheson, R. F., factor, Tarbert, by* Portree 
Maxwell, Thomas Edward Hall, of Dargavel, Dunolly, Inverness 
Medlock, Arthur, Bridge Street, Inverness 
Menzies, Duncan, farmer, Blairich, Rogart 
Miller, Dr, Belford Hospital, Fort- William 
Mitchell, Alex., agent, E.C. Railways, Inverness 
Moncrieff, Sheriff Scott, Lanark 
Morgan, Arthur, 6 Parliament Square, Edinburgh. 

336 Gaelic Societq of Inverness. 

Morrison, John M., Stonioway 

Mortimer, John, 344 Great Western Road, Aberdeen 

Muuro, D., teacher, Dochgarroch 

Munro, David, solicitor, Inverness 

Munro, Geo., Lonruighte, Alness 

Munro, Thos., architect, Inverness 

Murdoch, John, Horton Cottage, Uddingstone 

Murray, D., commercial traveller, Inverness 

Murray, Francis, Messrs James Finlay & Co., 34 Leadenhall Street, 

Naime, David, sub-editor, " Northern Chronicle," Inverness 
Nicolson, Donald, Salisbury Cottage, Uig, Portree 
Neil, R. A., Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge 
Paterson, Rod., town chamberlain, Inverness 
Poison, A., teacher, Poole we 
Ritchie, Rev. R. L., Creich, Sutherlandshire 
Robertson, Rev. Charles M., Torridou, Achnasheen * 

Robertson, Rev. Duncan, The Manse, Luss 
Robertson, Ossian, banker, Stomoway 
Robson, A. Mackay, 36 London Street, Edinburgh 
Ross, A. M., editor, "The North Star," Dingwall 
Ross, ex-Provost Alex., LL.D., Inverness 
,Ross, David, solicitor. Church Street, Inverness 
Ross, Donald, parcels station. Highland Railway, Inverness 
Ross, James, hotelkeeper, Broadford, Skye 
Ross, John, procurator-fiscal, Stornoway 
Rusterholtz, J., manager. Palace Hotel, Inverness 
Scott, Thomas, Rhifail, Kinbrace 
Sellar, Geo., merchant, Kingussie 
Sharp, D., 81 Scott Street, Garnethill, Glasgow^ 
Shaw, James T., Gordonbush, Brora 

Shirres, George Buchan, Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambriige 
Sinclair, Rev. A. Maclean, Belfast, Prince Edward's Island 
Sinton, P. J., farmer, Glen-Nevis, Fort-William 
Sinton, Rev. Thomas, Dores, Inverness 
Smith, Dr D. H., West 34 Street, New York 
Smith, F., commercial traveller (Strother & Co.), Inverness 
Smith, J., writer, Queensgate, Inverness 
Steele, A. F., agent. Bank of Scotland, Inverness 
Stewart, Rev. Alex., E.C. Manse, Daviot 
Stewart, Robert T„ agent. Commercial Bank, Tain 
Strachan, Professor, Marple, Cheshire 
Sutherland, John, rector, Andersonian Institution, Forres 

Members. 337 

Swan, D. Cameron, 58 Holland Park, London 

Thomson, Hugh, stockbroker, Inverness 

Thomson, Robert, Kinmylies, Inverness 

Urquhart, And., Rosehall, Invershin 

Urquhart, Donald, Public School, Staffin, Portree 

Urquhart, Robert, jun., solicitor, Forres 

Walker, A., H.M.I.S., Aberdeen 

Wallace, Thomas, rector, High School, Inverness 

Warren, John, accountant, British Linen Co/s Bank, Forres 

Watson, W. J., rector. Royal Academy, Inverness 

Whyte, Duncan, live-stock agent, 226 Duke Street, Glasgow 

Whyte, John, " Highland Times," Inverness. 

Woolfenden, Wm., Star Hotel, Kingussie 

Young, David, secretary, Caledonian Bank, Inverness 

Young, John (of Young & Chapman, drapers), Inverness 


Cesari, E., The Hotel, Bimam 

Dewar, Daniel, Beaufort, Beauly 

Ferguson, Pipe-Major, Inverness 

Innes, Charles, Ballifeary, Inverness 

Kerr, The Rev. Cathel, Melness 

Livingston, R., Manager, " Northern Chronicle," Inverness 

Macdonald, Colonel Alex., Portree 

Macdonald, John, Loch Ericht, Dalwhinnie 

Mackenzie, Major A. C, Maryburgh 

Mackenzie, Sir Kenneth S., Bart, of Gairloch 

Mackintosh, iEneas, The Doune, Daviot 

Macnee, James, M.D., Inverness. 

Macpherson, Cluny, of Cluny Macphersoii 









Society's edition, 

Gaelic and Latin), 3 vols. 
Smith's Gaelic Antiquities 
Smith's Seann Dana .... 
Highland Society's Report on Ossian's 


Stewart's Sketches of the Highlands, 2 vols 
Skene's Picts and Scots . . . . 
Dain Osiein Mhic Fhinn .... 
Macleod's Oran Nuadh Gaelach 
An Teachdaire Gaelach, 1829-30 . 
Carew's Ecclesiastical History pf Ireland . 
Grain Ghilleasbuig Ghrannd, two copies . 
Connell's Reul-eolas .... 

Maclauchlan's Celtic Gleanings 
Maclauchlan's Early Scottish Church 
The Dean of Lismore's Book . 
Macleod and Dewar's Gaelic Dictionary . 
Highland Society's do., 2 vols. 

Ritson's Caledonians, Picts and Scots 
Dr Walker's Hebrides, 2 vols . 
Campbell's Language, Poetry, and Masic 

of the Highland Clans 
Macnicol's Remarks on Dr Johnston's Tour 

in the Hebrides .... 
Somers' Letters from the Highlands 


Colonel Mackenzie 
of Parkmount 





Mr W. Mackay 

Mr Charles Mackay 

Rev. Dr Maclauchlan 
Sir Ken. S. Mackenzie 
of Gairloch, Bart, 

Mr John Murdoch 



Gaelic Society of Inuernese. 


Cameron's Chemistry of Agriculture 
Sketches of Islay .... 
Cameron's History of Skye 
Kennedy's Bardic Stories of Ireland 
Hicky's Agricultural Class-Book 
Grain Gha^lach Mhic Dhunleibhe . 
The Wolf of Badenoch . 
Familiar Illustrations of Scottish Life 
Antiquity of the Gaelic Language . 
The Dauntless Red Hugh of Tyrconnell 
The Kilchoman People Vindicated . 
Caraid a' Ghaidheil — Sermon . 
Highland Clearances the Cause of High 

land Famines .... 
Co-operative Associations 
Lecture ..... 

Review of " Eight Days in Islay " . 
Gold Diggings in Sutherland . 
Review of Language of Ireland 
Highland Character . - . 

An Teachdaire Ga€lach, 1829-30 . 
The Scottish Regalia 
Campbell's West Highland Tales, 4 vols 
Bliadhna Thearlaich 
Macfarlane's Collection of Gaelic Poems 
Old Gaelic Bible (partly MSS.) 

MacHale's, Archbishop, Irish Pentateuch 
Irish Translation of Moore's Melodies 
The Bull "Ineffabilis" (Latin, Euglisb 

Gaelic, and French) . 
Celtic Language and Dialects . 
Bourke's Irish G rammer . 
Bourke's Easy Lessons in Irish 
Mackenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry 

Mac-Crimmon's Piobaireachd . 

Stratton's Gaelic Origin of Greek and Latin 

Gaelic Translation of Apocrypha (by Rev 

A. Macgregor) 
Buchanan's Historia Scotia) 
The Game Laws, by R. G. Tolmie . 


Mr John Murdoch 









Mr Alex. Mackenzie 

Miss Hood 

J. Mackenzie, M.D. 
of Eileanach 
Canon Bourke 


Rev. W. Ross, Glas- 

Rev. A. Macgregor 


Mr William Mackay 





St Jameses Magazine, vol. i. . . 

Fingal (edition 1762) 

Collection of English Poems (2 vols.) 
Philologic Uses of the Celtic Tongue 
Scoto-Celtic Philology 

Dana Oisein (Maclauchlan's edition) . 

Munro's Gaelic Primer 

M*Alpine^s Gaelic Dictionary . 

MTherson's Duanaire 

Munro's Gaelic Grammar 

Grain Mhic-an-t-Saoir 

Grain Uilleim Ross . . . , 

Ceithir Searmoinean, le Dr Dewar . 

CarsewelFs Prayer Book (Gaelic) 

Scots' Magazine (1757) . 

History of the Rebellion, 1745-46 . 

Welsh Bible 

Gld Gaelic New Testament 

Adhamh agus Eubh (Adam and Eve) 

Gld Gaelic Bible .... 

Grain Ailein Dhughallaich 

Macpherson's Poem's of Gssian 

An Gaidheal for 1873 . 

Grain, cruinnichte le Mac-an-Tuairnear 

The Gospels, in eight Celtic dialects 

Eraser of Knockie's Highland Music 

The Clan Battle at Perth, by Mr A. M, 

Shaw . . . 
The Scottish Metrical Psalms 
Sailm Dhaibhidh Ameadreachd (Ed. 1659) 
Biographical Dictionary of Eminent 

Scotsmen (9 vols.) . 
Grain Ghilleasbuig Grannd 
Clarsach nan Beann 
Fulangas Chriost 
Dain Spioradail 


Mr Mackay, book- 
seller, Inverness 
C. Eraser-Mackintosh, 

Esq., M.P. 
Mi" D. Mackintosh 
Mr D. Maciver 
Lord Neaves, LL.D., 

Maclachlan & Stewart 
Mr A. Macbean 
Mr D. Mackintosh 
Mr L. Mackintosh 
Mr L. Macbean 
The Publishers 
Mr A. Mackintosh 

Shaw, London 
Mr J. Mackay, J.P., 


Mr Mackenzie, Bank 

Lane, Inverness 

The Author 

Mr J. Eraser, Glasgow 

Mr A. R. Macraild, 

Mr J. Craigie, Dundee 





Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Spiritual Songs (Gaelic and English) 

Alexander Macdonald's Gaelic Poems 

Grain Mhic-an-t-Saoir 

Leabhar nan Ceist .... 

Co-eigneachadh Soisgeulach (Boston) 

History of the Druids (Toland's) 

Melodies from the Gaelic . 

Maclean's History of the Celtic Language 

Leabhar Sailm .... 

Origin andjdescent of the Gael 

Stewart's Gaelic^Grammar 

Macpherson's Caledonian Antiquities 


Biboiil Noimbh (London, 1855) 


Dain Oisein ..... 


Life of Columba (1798) . 
Grain Roib Dhuinn Mhic-Aoidh 
Dain leis anUrr. I. Lees 
Searmons leis an Urr. E. Blarach 
Eaglais na h-Alba, leis an Urr A. Clare, 


Bourke's Aryan Origin of the Gaelic Race 

Reid's Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica 

Munro's Gaelic Primer (3 copies in library) 

Eachdraidh na h-Alba, le A. MacCoiunich 

(3 copies) 

Dain Ghailig leis an Urr. I. Lees 
Philologic Uses of the Celtic Tongue, by 

Professor Geddes (1872) . 
Philologic Uses of the Celtic Tongue (1873) 
Poems by Ossian, in metre (1796) . 

Proceedings of the Historical and Archaeo- 
logical Association of Ireland 

Shaw's Gaelic Dictionary (1780) 

History of the Culdees, Maccallum's. 

Macdiarmid's Gaelic Sermons (MS. 1773) . 

Gaelic Grammar, Irish character (1808) . 


Mr J. Craigie, Dundee 


Mr J. Mackay, J. P., 


The Author. 

Rev. Dr Lees, Paisley 

The Author 

Mr Alex. Kennedy, 

The Society 

Rev. A. Macgregor. 


Rev. A. Macgregor 




Gaelic Pentateuch, Irish character . 
Gaelic Book of Common Prayer (1819) 
Gaelic Psalter, Irish character . 
Transactions of the Gaelic Society of 

Inverness, 1 to 22 vols. 
Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica 
Grain le Bob Donn 
Leabhar Gran Gaidhealach 
Vible Casherick, Manx 
Biobla Naomtha, Irish . 
Dr Smith's Seann Dana . 
Evan's Welsh Grammar and Vocabulary 
Grain Uilleim Bos . . . , 
Grain Dhonnacha Bhain ... 
Co-chruinneachadh Grain Ghailig 
Book of Psalms, Irish 
Grain Nuadh Ghaidhealach, le A. Mac 

Dhomhnuill .... 
Laoidhean o'n Sgriobtuir, D. Dewar 
Leabhar Gran Gailig 
Am Biobla Naomtha (1690) . 
The Family of lona. 
Grant's Grigin and Descent of the Gael 
Bathad Dhe gu Sith 
Dain Spioradail, Urr. I. Griogalach . 
Dara Leabhar airson nan Sgoilean Gaidh 


Treas Leabhar do. do. . 

What Patriotism, Justice, and Christianity 

demand for India . 
Grain Ghaidhealach 
Priolo's lUustratons from Gssian 
Photograph of Gaelic Charter, 1408 . 

The Celtic Magazine, vol. i. 

Do., vols. ii. to xi. ... 

Elementary Lessons in Gaelic . 

Stewart's Gaelic Grammar 

Irish Pedigrees, by G'Hart 

Dan an Deirg agus Tiomna Ghuill (Eng 

lish Translation), 2 copies 
Gaelic and English Vocabulary (1741) 


Rev. A. Macgregor 


Bev. W. Ross, Glas- 
The Publishers 
The Author 
Mr D. Mackintosh 
The Author 

Mr C. S. Jerram. 
Rev, A. Macgregor, 

344 Qaelio Society of Inuerness. 


Aryan Origin of the Celtic Race and ) Mr John Mackay, J. P., 

Language . . . . . / Hereford 

Old Map of Scotland (1746) . . . Mr Colin M*Callum, 

Collection of Harp Music . . . Mr Charles Fergusson 

Valuation Roll of the County df Inverness 

(1869-70) ditto 

» Do. do. Ross (1871-72) , ditto 

Inverness Directory (1869-70) ditto 

Greek Testament . . . . ditto 

Greek Lexicon . . . ditto 

Gospel of St John adapted to the Hamil- 

tonian System (Latin) . . . ditto 

Historie de Gil Bias de Santillane (French) ditto 

Prophecies of the Brahan Seer, 2nd edition Mr A. Mackenzie 
My Schools and Schoolmasters . . Mr James Reid 

Gaelic Etymology of the English Language 

Dr Charles Mackay . . . .J. Mackay, Swansea 
The Highland Echo • . . . Purchased 

The Highland Newspaper, complete, 4 

volumes Purchased 

Hebrew — Celtic Affinity, Dr Stratton . The Author 
Illustrations of Waverley, published for ) t»c- i:^ th t 

the Royal Association for Promoting i ^'^.,f'^«??\^«^.^''^« 

the Fine Arts in Scotland (1865) f Villa, N. Berwick 
Illustrations of Heart of Midlothian, do. 

do (1873) ditto 

Illustrations of the Bride of Lammermuir, 

do. do. (1875) ditto 

Illustrations of Red Gauntlet, do. do. (1876) ditto 

Illustrations of the Fair Maid of Perth . ditto 

Illustrations of .the Legend of Montrose . ditto 

Gunn on the Harp in the Highlands . Miss Cameron of Inn- 

English Translation of Buchanan's "Latha | 

'Bhreitheanais," by the Rev. J. > Translator 

Sinclair, Kinloch-Rannoch (1880) . ) 
An t-Oranaiche, compiled by Archibald 

Sinclair (1880) .... Compiler 

Danaibh Spioradail, &c., le Seumas Mac- 1 A. Maclean, coal mer- 

Bheathain, Inverness (1880) . . j chant, Inverness. 
Macdiarmid's Sermons in Gaelic (1804) . Colin MaoCallum, 





Bute Docks, Cardiff, by John M*Connachie, 
C.E. (1876) 

Observacions on the Present State of the j 
Highlands, bv the Earl of Selkirk V 
(1806) . \ 

Collection of Gaelic Songs, by Ranald 
Macdonald (1806) .... 

Mary Mackellar's Poems and Songs (1880) 
Dr O'Gallagher's Sermons in Irish (1877) . 


John Hill Burton's History of Scotland | 
(9 vols.) ) 

Burt's Letters from the North of Scotland 
(2 vols.) 

A Genealogical Account of the Highland \ 
Families of Shaw, by A. Mackintosh > 

Shaw (1877) ) 

History of the Clan Chattan, by A. 
Mackintosh Shaw (1880) . 

Leabhair an t-Sean Tiomna air na 
dtarruing on Teanguidh Ughdar- 
rach go Gaidhlig tre churam agus 
saothar an doctiir Uiliam Bhedel, 
Roimhe so Easpog Chillemhorie 'n 
Erin (1830) ..... 

Edmund Burke's Works, 8 vols. 

Land Statistics of Inverness, Ross, and | 
Cromarty in the Year 1871, by H. C. J 
Eraser . . . . . . ) 

Church of Scotland Assembly Papers — 
The Poolewe Case .... 

Ossian's Fingal rendered into Heroic | 
Verse, by Ewen Cameron (1777) . j 

Ossian's Fingal rendered into verse by 
Archibald Macdonald (1808) . 

Clarsach an Doire — Gaelic Poems, by 
Neil Macleod ..... 

MacDiarmid's Gaelic Sermons . 

Leabhar Commun nan Fior Ghael — The 

Book of the Club of True Highlanders Purchased 

The Author. 

John Mackay, J. P., 

F. C. Buchanan, Clarin 
nish. Row, Helens- 
The Author. 
John Mackay, J. P., 


L. Macdonald of 



The Author 

The Author 

A. R. MacRaild, In- 

Mr Colin Chisholm. 
The Author 

Mr W. Mackenzie 
A. H. F. Cameron,. 
Esq. of Lakefield 


The Author 
Mr Colin MacCallum, 



Gaelic Society of Inverness. 

Mr H. C. Fraser 
M. Gaidoz 

M. Gaidoz 
M. Gaidoz 


Grammar of the Gaelic Language (Irish), 

by E. O'C 

Esqiiisse de la Religion des Gaulois. Par 

M. Henri Gaidoz. 1879 . 
Notice sur les Inscriptions Latines de 

rirlande. Par M. Henri Gaidoz. 

1878 . . . 
Melusine Recueil de Mythologie, &c. Par 

MM. Gaidoz et Holland. 1878 . 

Guide to Sutherlandshire, by Hew Morrison The Author 
Transactions of the Royal National EistoFMr J. Mackay, J. P., 

eddfod of Wales . . . . / Hereford 

Bute Docks, Cardiff, by J. Macconnachie, 

M.I.G.E. . . . , . .The Author 
In Memoriam — Earl of Seafield . . The Dowager-Count- 
ess of Seafield 
Past and Present Position of the Skye ) L. Macdonald of Skae- 

Crofters / host 

American Journal of Philology 

Revue Celtique, vol. VI., No. 3 . ^ . 

Notes on St Clement's Church, Rowdill, 

Harris ...... 

Notes on Clan Chattan Names 

The Proverbs of Wales .... 

M. Gaidoz 

J. D. Dixon's Gairloch .... 

Struan's Poems . . . . . 
The Writings pf Eola 

The Proverbs of Wales, by T. R. Roberts . 

An Old Scots Brigade, by John Mackay, 

Herrisdale ..... 
Cromb's Highland Brigade 
Glossary of Obscure Words in Shakespeare 

and his Contemporaries, by Dr Chas. 

Mackay ...... 

Pococke's Tour in Scotland issued by the ) Mr D. William Kemp, 

Historical Society of Scotland . . f Edinburgh 

Mr A. Ross, Inverness 
J. Macpherson, M.D. 
Mr J. Mackay, J. P., 

Mr A. Burgess, banker, 

Mr A. Kennedy 
Mr John Mackay of 

Ben Reay 
Mr J. Mackay, J. P., 



Walcott's Scottish Church 

Mr A. Burgess, Gair- 

Library, 347 


Dick Lauder's Highland Legends . . Mr A. Burgess, Gair- 

Book of Scottish Story .... -ditto 

Stuart Papers ditto 

The Constitution and Bye-Laws of the) My John Mackay of 

Scots Charitable Society of Boston . ) Ben Reay 

Notes on Early Iron Smelting in Suther- ) Mr D. William Kemp, 

land j Edinburgh 

Artificial Lighting ..... ditto 

The Mountain Heath, by David Macdonald Mr A. H. F. Cameron 

of Lakefield 
Oratio Dominica ..... Mr John Mackay, J. P., 

Old Testament in the Irish Language, Mr Paul Cameron, 

by Dr William Bedel, 1685 . . Blair-AthoU 

The Hermit in Edinburgh . . . Dr Cameron, Liverpool 
The History of the Macleans, by Professor ) p , , 

J. P. Maclean . . . . . J ^ ^ ^ 
FingaFs Cave, Staffa, 2 vols., by Professor ) ,. 

J. P. Maclean / ^^^^^ 

The Reay Fencibles . . . . } ^^ ^ nSord^^''^'^'' 

Reliquiae Celticse. Vol. I. — Ossianica, \ 

with Memoir of Dr Cameron. Edited ( q^, t^i-. 

by Mr A. Macbain, M.A., and Rev. t^^^ J^ditors 

John Kennedy . . . . / 

The Elements of Banking. By Henrys rni a ^-v. 

Dunning Macleod . . . J l^e Author 
John Laurie, an Eccentric Sutherland! mi a xu 

Dominie. By D. W. Kemp . .} The Author 
Irish New Testament . . . Dr Cameron, Wor- 

Report of the Worcester Diocesan Archi- 1 ,. 

tectural and Archaeological Society . / ^ ^ 

Manuscript Collection of Music. By John \ ,. 

Anderson, music master, Inverness . / ^ '' 

Place Names of Scotland, by Rev. Mr 

Johnston Mr W. A. G. Brodie 

The Christian Doctrine, by the Archbishop 

of Tuam Mr Colin Grant, Balti- 
Light of Britinna — Druidic Mysteries, by Mr John Mackay, J. P., 

Owen Morgan, B.B.D. (Morien) . Hereford 


Gaelic Society of Inverness. 


Reliqua3 Celticoe. Vol. II. — Dr Cameron's. ] 
Edited by Mr A. Macbain, M.A., and 
Rev. John Kennedy. . . . J 

History of Urquhart and Glenmoriston, 
by William Mackay 

History of the Mackenzies, 2nd Edition, 
by Alex. Mackenzie 

Eachdraidh Beatha Chriosd 

The Sonijs and Poems of MacCodrum, edited 
by Rev. Arch. Macdonald, Kiltarlity . 

Celtic Gleanings, by Rev. J. G. Campbell . 



The Cuchullinn Saga, by Miss Hull . . . 
Pictish Inscriptions, by E. B. Nicolson, 

Bodleian Library, Oxford 
Deponent Verb in Irish, by Prof. Strachan 
Presbytery Records of Inverness and 

Dingwall, edited by Wm. Mackay, 

solicitor, Inverness 
Coinneach 'us Coille, by Alex. Macdonald, 

Inverness . . . . 

Leabhar nan Sonn, by Mr A. Eraser, 

Toronto . . . . . . 

Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Volume I. to date .... 
Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica 

History of Clan Donald. Vols. 1 and 2 . 
Skelton's " Mary Queen of Scots " . 

Scientific Transactions of the Royal Dublin 

Economic Proceedings of the Royal Dublin 

Transactions of Royal Scottish Geo- 
graphical Society .... 

The Gaelic Journal 


•The Editors 

The Author 

The Author 
The Author 

The Editor 

Mr John Mackay, 

J.P., Hereford 
Miss Amy Frances 

Yule, Tarradale 

House, Muir of 


The Author 
The Author 

The Editor 

The Author 

The Author 

The Society 

Mr John Mackay, J.P.^ 

The Authors 
Mr John Mackay, J. P y 


The Society 

The Society 

The Society 
The Publishers